MGM China says business as usual despite worker action

MGM China Holdings Ltd, played down a walkout by hundreds of staff at casinos Friday saying the industrial action had left its operations largely unaffected.
The strike by up to 300 dealers was directed at MGM China Holdings, a unit of the U.S.-based MGM Resorts International.
But MGM China, in a statement, said its operations remained unaffected by the industrial action, and that “a vast majority of our team team members have reported to work and are delivering their high level of service as usual.”
The casino workers’ union says employee demands include higher wages and improved benefits.
Some 1,000 dealers working for SJM Holdings, a gaming company overseen by the family of former Macau kingpin Stanley Ho, took industrial action by showing up late for shifts and then refused to work overtime in a protest over salaries and benefits.
Macau’s casinos face labour shortages due to rigid regulations that prohibit foreigners from working at gaming tables.
The strikes come amid a downturn in revenues as a crackdown by Beijing is keeping away wealthy Chinese gamblers.
Analysts say revenues for October are forecast to be weak due to government restrictions on tour groups to Hong Kong.
A Hong Kong-based analyst said the numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Macau on Oct. 1, the first day of the national day public holiday, was just two percent over that of the previous year, much slower growth than in the past.