Some Macau legislators want to ensure in law that the city’s casino concessionaires must pledge enough funds to meet any compensation claims by their staff, particularly should any of those companies not secure fresh Macau rights under an upcoming new public tender. The city’s government has said it is willing to consider the proposal.
Such a guarantee would be achieved by adding new clauses to the existing proposals in the gaming law amendment bill currently being scrutinised in the city’s Legislative Assembly, said on Thursday, legislator Chan Chak Mo.
This was to make sure that what some local legislators referred to as the “burden” of any such claims, did not fall on the city’s government.
No date for such a tender has yet been announced. The current six concessions – that had been due to expire on June 26 this year – are to be extended to December 31, 2022, pending government work on the legislative framework for a new tender process.
Mr Chan heads an assembly committee tasked with considering the draft bill. He was briefing reporters following a closed-doors meeting with government delegates.
A corporate social responsibility article in the draft bill covers topics including ensuring employment of locals, and their “upward mobility” career-wise, as well as requiring concessionaires to have a provident fund for the staff.
Mr Chan stated on Thursday: “There were legislators that suggested ‘Why not include [clauses] that protect labour claims’, in the [bill's] article on corporate social responsibility?”
Macau gaming operators SJM Holdings Ltd and MGM China Holdings Ltd had been required by the Macau government to fulfil certain labour pledges as conditions for the respective two-year extensions – secured in 2019 - of their Macau rights. That exercise, put them on the same 2022 finish line for their present gaming rights, as the other four Macau concession holders.
SJM Holdings and MGM China had each to set up what as termed a “labour creditor’s rights protection fund”. SJM Holdings was required to provide a bank guarantee of not fewer than MOP3.5 billion (US$434.6 million) to cover ” labour liabilities after the expiry of the concession extension contract”. MGM China was required to provide a bank guarantee of at least MOP820 million.
According to a report by Radio Macau, the Macau government is requiring each of the city’s six gaming operators to make major financial commitments to the local government regarding rights and conditions applicable to local workers, in connection with the six-month extension of their licences to December 31, 2022.
According to the Portuguese-language channel of the public broadcaster, the Macau government has required each operator to provide a bank guarantee, which in some cases can go up to MOP1.6 billion, depending on the number of employees. The bank guarantee is to ensure that a company can meet its labour liabilities in case it is not able to secure a new concession, reports Radio Macau.
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