Macau labor

The collapse of Macau’s junket industry is now weighing down on public coffers, as over 100 former employees of the gaming promoters are now seeking compensation from the Macau government.

According to data analyzed by TDM Canal Macau, some MOP56.8 million ($7.05 million) was given out under the city’s labor remuneration scheme since 2016, set up to handle labor disputes between employees and companies (including those that closed doors without paying out salaries).

Of the over-100 VIP room employees seeking compensation, more than 50 percent previously worked for Macau’s top junket operator Suncity.

Some MOP5 million ($620,000) has now been allocated to the former junket employees under the remuneration scheme.

Suncity closed doors following the arrest of its head, Alvin Chau, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison mostly for crimes linked to under-the-table betting, criminal association and fraud.

Employees from other junket operations, including one not even licensed by the city’s gaming watchdog, are now seeking compensation via the city’s remuneration fund, as they hope for payment for work put in prior to the operations’ closure.

While some of the former junket employees have been able to find employment in other sectors, the Labor Affairs Bureau is still struggling to appease those unable or unwilling to shift into other sectors. Numerous professional training courses have been launched directly focused at the former gaming employees, with a limited degree of success.

However, the city’s push to shift to a mass-market model has left many out of a job, and wanting their payout.