Labor issues top operator concerns, survey finds

    Attracting and retaining employees is seen as the top concern among companies operating in Macau, according to a risk management survey conducted by Marsh LLC.
    The survey showed companies continue to struggle with workforce-related issues, with 71 percent citing keeping and finding employees as the top risk issue facing their organization. This was followed by customer default or non-payment and professional liability, which both had 29 percent, cyber-attacks and natural catastrophes at 25 percent, environmental or pollution liability and political risk at 21 percent.
    “The issue of employee-related risks is amplified in a territory like Macau, which is an economy based on hospitality and gaming,” Lei Yu, Director of Marsh Macau, said. “Companies must offer competitive benefit programs to attract and retain talent, while also invest into workplace safety and health programs to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.”
    Unemployment in Macau is hovering at about 1.7 percent and the shortage of available labour is seen as a potential factor restricting future growth in the territory. The government has strict rules about the import of foreign labour and only locals are permitted to work as dealers in the casinos.

    As a result, wage costs have become an issue for operators in Macau. At last week’s G2E Asia conference, executives said casinos were having to get creative with their remuneration packages to attract employees, pointing to a recent decision by Wynn Resorts to begin an employee stock option plan. Las Vegas Sands has also announced a similar perk.