The number of non-resident workers employed by Macau’s six casino concessionaires has plummeted by 32.6% since 2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The information was provided by Deputy Director of Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) Chon U Chan earlier this month, and made public this week, in response to a written question by fellow legislator Lei Chan U.
According to DSAL, there were 23,676 non-resident workers – also known as blue card holders – employed by the concessionaires and other hotels with casinos as of 31 December 2021, down from 35,110 in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 11,434 non-resident workers have left their positions in that time.
The prioritization of local employees is referenced in Macau’s gaming law, with recent amendments to the law currently with the Legislative Assembly placing further emphasis on encouraging the promotion of locals over foreigners.
DSAL said it would look to “ensure the priority and continuous employment of local employees” and “review the labor market conditions in a timely manner to regulate the number of non-local employees.”
On future employment opportunities within Macau’s IR sector, DSAL stated, “If there are suitable or sufficient local employees for the relevant positions, the application of non-local employees with corresponding occupations will not be approved, or the company will be required to arrange for relevant foreign employees to leave the field. The number of non-local employees will be [reduced] and local employees will be given priority in employment.”