A special programme by Macau gaming operator Sands China Ltd inviting casino pit supervisors to become dealers for a year, is receiving an “overwhelming response” from workers, the company told GGRAsia.
Pit supervisors working for any of Sands China’s properties can register until July 31 to work as full-time dealers for one year, keeping their original salary and benefits, GGRAsia learnt from two local gaming labour groups that have members interested in taking part in the initiative.
Representatives from the two groups – Power of the Macao Gaming Association and Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff’s Association – told GGRAsia that pit supervisors successfully applying for the programme will be assigned only to baccarat gaming tables. Pit supervisors that have completed the one-year programme, launched on a voluntary basis, will be entitled to an “additional seven-day annual leave”, they added.
A spokeswoman from Sands China confirmed to GGRAsia that the firm was implementing the programme.
“In the first 24 hours we had an overwhelming response with over 100 pit supervisors volunteering to join the scheme, which already exceeds our initial target,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed reply. “We will monitor the popularity of this scheme and if necessary adjust our targets so as to accommodate as many people as possible.”
GGRAsia asked Sands China whether it was the first time the company had implemented this type of initiative, but did not receive a reply by the time this story went online. The firm also did not say which property or properties would receive the supervisors turned dealers.
The Parisian Macao casino resort, developed by Sands China in Macau’s Cotai district, is scheduled to open on September 13, company chairman Sheldon Adelson announced on Monday. The company has yet to announce how many gaming tables the property’s casino will host.
A notice regarding the special programme has been posted since last week in at least two of the properties Sands China runs in Macau, including Venetian Macao, the representatives from the two gaming labour groups told GGRAsia.
Sands China “received feedback from our supervisors indicating that there was a desire for some of them to reinforce their basic skills and training as table games team members as new processes and technologies arise,” the firm’s spokeswoman stated.
She added: “This voluntary programme was created to allow them [pit supervisors] to do that through hands-on practice without the need for them to change their position, remuneration or seniority. By allowing pit supervisors to temporarily transfer to a dealer role, the programme also creates opportunities for our part time pit supervisors to practice their supervisory skills by giving them more chances to work as pit supervisors.”
Lei Iok Po, director of Power of the Macao Gaming Association, told to GGRAsia that he believed the initiative was launched because Sands China lacked dealers and had an excess of pit supervisors.
He added: “Another possible reason is that the firm needs experienced dealers for Parisian Macao. It is a management concern: they want to have the right people ready at the new casino.”
Pit supervisors in Macau usually have previous work experience as casino dealers.
Workers who join Sands China’s special programme can apply at any time to return to their original position as pit supervisor, Mr Lei said.
“So far we didn’t hear many complaints about this programme because workers are generally satisfied with the company’s offer, as they can still enjoy the same salary as a pit supervisor,” he added.
According to Mr Lei, the average monthly salary in Macau for pit supervisors is about MOP25,000 (US$3,125) to MOP28,000. The average monthly salary for a dealer in Macau stood at MOP18,780 in December last year, according to data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
“Of course, there are also workers that do not like this programme because they feel becoming a dealer is a demotion. They are afraid that it will hurt their promotion opportunities,” Mr Lei said.
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