Macau to tighten visa rules for casino executive positions

The Macau government is reportedly tightening its visa policy for executives working in the territory’s casinos in an effort to promote more locals into managerial positions.

The Human Resources Office of Macau told the Portuguese-language Jornal Tribuna de Macau that the bureau can deny requests for renewals of non-resident casino executives’ working visas if “there are local workers that can fulfil the necessary conditions to perform managerial roles.”

The office said that the operators had been working in Macau for a sufficient level of time now to be able to promote locals to higher levels. It added it will be impartial and fair when making its decisions.

Bernstein Research said operators had expressed concerns about the difficulty in renewing blue cards for management level employees during a recent field trip.

“The worry with respect to this issue is less about cost escalations (which we see as having been moderate), but with respect to quality and experience of managers,” it said in a research note.

However, it added that the operators have made significant progress in promoting locals, with Macau citizens now accounting for well over 80 percent of manager-level and above positions.

Locals account for 77 percent of all workers at the properties and 96 percent of casino-specific employees.