Macau is to debate whether casino workers can enter casino floors as customers after work hours. The Legislative Assembly is gathering on Tuesday, December 18, to come with a final decision, after news for the pending ban were announced a few months before.
Macau’s Casino Workers Ousted from Properties
On Tuesday, December 18, the Macau Legislative Assembly will convene for a session which will discuss a previously proposed a ban that prohibits casino workers to be present on the property in after work hours, whether they are visitors or players.
If the restrictive measure comes into effect, estimated 54,000 Macau casino employees will be affected. Additional 8,000 junket operators can come under the restrictive terms of the new law, a new report conducted at the behest of the Macau Legislative Assembly established.
Based on the statements of the report, the self-ruling territory’s government had revealed no plans to use local authorities to restrict the access to casinos of other work groups and residents. However, according to the government, Macau has been seeing a curious increase in the number of problem gamblers between 2011 and 2017.
Officially, Macau’s lawmakers claim that the epidemic is worse among casino workers. However, the bill will discriminate against non-gaming staff as well, including those working as security, kitchen staff, and others.
The only type of employees who won’t be screened is the ones who are assigned to do outsourcing jobs, as their work schedule is too flexible and often involves multiple venues, which makes monitoring too difficult to pull off in the first place.
However, the Committee does envisage some small exemptions. For instance, casino employees may gamble during the first three days of the Chinese New Year holidays and they will also be allowed to be present on a casino’s premises as long as they are part of a professional training or education, or participating in a business evet.
In a rare stroke of generosity, Macau’s lawmakers have decided not to push ahead with an outright ban, allowing for a 12-month grace period during which casino employees will have an opportunity to adapt to the changes.
Enforcing the Rule
Monitoring trespassers would require a joint effort, lawmakers estimate. To start with, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has said that it would start monitoring all casino facilities, but it has not specified how.
The watchdog will most likely assign inspectors to each casino property who will try to identify infiltrators. In addition, each casino will be responsible for monitoring the inflow and outflow of visitors in order to spot wrongdoers in the act.
At the same time, the law will not necessitate a centralized monitoring tool, such as a database collecting data from employees to put them on a special watch list, as carrying out entry-checks would be too restrictive for business.
Representatives of the casino business also agreed that the lack of such measures were not to be feared, as they wouldn’t pose any problem in the successful identification and apprehension of wrongdoers.
Civil servants have already been banned from entering casino properties the DICJ specified.