Secretary for Economy and Finance Leong Vai Tac Wednesday reaffirmed the government’s stance of banning the hiring of non-local casino dealers.
The policy secretary’s remarks came after a member of the Economic Development Council urged the government – during a plenary meeting of the government-appointed council on Tuesday – to allow the employment of non-local dealers.
Leong made the remarks while speaking to reporters at Macau Tower on the sidelines of the “Macau Convention and Exhibition Commendation Awards 2018” hosted by the Macau Convention and Exhibition Association.
The government maintains a de facto ban on the hiring of non-local dealers and commercial drivers. While the business sector has called for the lifting of the two bans, trade unionists are vehemently opposed to it.
According to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), the city’s six gaming operators employed 24,026 dealers at the end of June, accounting for 42.7 percent of the gaming industry’s total number of full-time staff.
Leong confirmed yesterday that a member of the Economic Development Council made the suggestion of allowing the employment of non-local dealers during Tuesday’s meeting of the government-appointed council, adding that the de facto ban on the employment of non-local dealers is the government’s long-established policy and that the government has not changed it.
The Economic Development Council consists of the chief executive, secretary for economy and finance, other senior government officials overseeing economic and financial matters, leading businesspeople, trade unionists and scholars. The council is chaired by the chief executive, with the secretary for economy and finance as its vice-chairman.
The policy secretary said yesterday that during Tuesday’s meeting members from various segments of Macau’s civil society raised many opinions and suggestions on how to promote Macau’s economic development, adding that the government would then comprehensively study all these suggestions.
Leong pledged that the government will continue to urge the city’s gaming operators to strengthen their on-the-job training for local employees.
Businessman Vong Kok Seng, who heads the council’s human resources policy research section, told reporters after Tuesday’s closed-door meeting of the Economic Development Council that a member of his section proposed during the meeting that the government allow the employment of non-local dealers and set up a maximum ratio for them to be hired. Vong did not name the member.
According to Vong, the unnamed member said during the meeting that Macau’s gaming industry is susceptible to external changes and consequently the city should take precautions to tackle possible fluctuations in the external environment. The member also claimed that there is an insufficient number of casino dealers.
Vong quoted the member as proposing that if the city’s gaming sector experienced a downturn and gaming operators planned to dismiss dealers as a result, they would have to dismiss the non-local ones first.
Vong told reporters on Tuesday that the government merely took note of the suggestion.
Leong noted yesterday that it is the government’s established practice to merely collect opinions and suggestions raised during meetings of the Economic Development Council and not to respond during the meetings.