CASINO

Macau tightens visa renewal for non-resident casino executives

TAGs: Jasmine Solana, Macau, Sanford Bernstein

The push to overhaul Macau’s casino industry continues. This time, the focus is having more local employees in management positions.

Macau tightens visa renewal for non-resident casino executivesTo achieve this, the city state government announced last week that it is tightening the renewal process for non-resident casino executives who will be applying for working visas in Macau.

The Human Resources Office of Macau confirmed the policy change to Portuguese-language daily Jornal Tribuna de Macau, telling the newspaper that after assessing the requests of the six casino operators—which have been in operation for several years already—in the city state, “we consider these firms already present enough conditions to promote local workers [into higher positions].”

Under the new policy, 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.”

Macau locals currently make up “well over 80 percent of manager-and-above positions,” according to a GGRAsia report, quoting figures from brokerage Sanford Bernstein. Locals also account for 77 percent of all workers at casino establishments as well as 96 percent of casino-specific employees.

The work permit, also known as blue card, is issued to a non-resident who wants to work in Macau, but Sanford Bernstein said the “renewal applications for management level” such as managers, senior managers, directors and executive directors, among others, “are becoming more difficult.”

Local officials, however, stressed that they will remain “impartial and fair” when assessing requests, saying they would also take into consideration government guidelines as well as the economic development of the special administrative region, labor demand and supply.

Data from the Statistics and Census Service showed that 24.4 percent of the total employed population in Macau are in “cultural and recreational activities, gaming and other services.”

The city state’s government does not allow migrant workers to take up casino dealer positions.

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