Macau’s gaming regulator, the DICJ, has written to the city’s gaming operators demanding they refrain from laying off workers after it was revealed that a “top 5” junket operator had laid off around 200 employees due to the impact of the coronavirus on operations.
Hong Kong Chinese-language media group All In reported this week that the junket operator had since re-hired the employees – representing around 25% of its entire workforce – after coming under external pressure, with the DICJ stating it was highly concerned by the layoffs. Inside Asian Gaming understands the operator has also closed three of its Macau junket rooms at Grand Lisboa, Altira and Wynn Macau, although it remains unclear whether this is a permanent or temporary measure.
It has since emerged that the DICJ sent written letters to Macau’s gaming operators last weekend calling for them to maintain current employment levels. Operators contacted by IAG confirmed they had received the letter.
“With the resumption of operations across all industries, the Macau economy will face serious challenges,” the letter reads.
“Maintaining social responsibility is one of the priorities of the Macau SAR Government. In this difficult period, companies should make every effort to ensure the employment of employees and maintain a stable labor market.”
All In reports that the CEO of the junket in question this week met with the 200 employees in question, explaining the company had made its original decision due to concerns over a lack of business through Q2 and Q3. The company expects to record a loss in 2020, he reportedly said.
The DICJ’s letter was sent to all gaming operators, intermediaries, suppliers, distributors and test laboratories.