Macau’s gambling industry is at a crossroads.
Amid declining revenues in June and July, casino owners are asking the government to relax its labor policy and bring in more foreign workers, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.
But the industry union is against it, worried that such a move may threaten the job security of its members.
Instead, it has organized several demonstrations to ask for pay increases.
The industry and the government have been at odds over how to strike a balance in labor resources, with various social issues at stake.
It is estimated that the industry will need more than 10,000 workers over the next three years as more casinos are set to open.
However, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on, who is seeking a second term in office, has said the government will not introduce foreigners as casino dealers in accordance with current legislation.
The union does not accept this and plan to demonstrate again on Tuesday.
About 50,000 of the 56,000 people working in the gambling industry are dealers, according to data from Macau’s Statistics and Census Service. But there is an estimated shortage of 3,000.
More than 40,000 workers will be needed between 2015 and 2017 for the six casino operators, a human resource expert said.
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