MGM China open to talks on migrant worker housing

    MGM China CEO Grant Bowie said the company is open to dialogue with the Macau government on how operators in the gambling hub can be responsible for imported workers’ accommodation and transport, local media reported.
    His comments follow the publication of the second-term manifesto for Macau Chief Executive Chui Sai On, who called on operators to take more responsibility for the housing of their migrant employees. Land in Macau is scarce and accommodation costs high. Casino companies rely heavily on migrant labor for the casinos, though the range of work they are able to access is highly regulated.
    However, Bowie also stressed that it’s a complex issue that needs further discussion.
    “From MGM’s perspective, we obviously are always in a process of constant dialogue with the government, we’re respectful and very supportive of strategies that improve the life and the opportunities for Macau to grow and develop, and we’ll always be participating in any dialogue, discussion, but most importantly taking action to insure that we meet people’s expectations,” he was cited as saying. “The issue still stands as Macau struggles with land, and we also need to collaborate in understanding where we should be building these types of facilities, if that’s the expectation on how we should be collaborating.”
    The problem of the shortage and cost of labor is seen as one of the major risks for casino companies operating in Macau and is expected to worsen as multi-billion dollar resorts open up on Cotai over the next few years.
    Galaxy Entertainment alone on Monday said it will need to recruit 8,000 new workers, a 50 percent increase from the current level, for its new Galaxy Macau resort.