Off-duty casino workers no longer allowed in Macau casinos

Benny Marty /

A Macau law that took effect Friday has made it illegal for casino workers to enter Macau casinos outside of their work hours. Added as an amendment to the Gaming Participation Law last December, the ban extends beyond employees directly involved in gaming operations to include casino cashiers, cage staff, floor security, cleaners, and food and beverage servers as well. The ban is year-round except for the first three days of the Chinese New Year holiday. The upcoming celebration, the Year of the Rat, begins January 25.

In total, this bans the 46,000 employees of casinos and the 8,000 employees of junket operators from the properties. Those found to be violating this law are subject to fines of up to MOP$10,000 (US$1,250).

The previous iteration of the Gaming Participation Law, dated October 2012, only prevented employees from participating in games of chance operated by their own employer and did not prevent entry or gambling at casinos operated by other companies in Macau.

Pedro Cortés, partner at Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortes noted that the law appears to be a preventative action for protecting workers from gambling addiction rather than a restriction based on corruption. Cortés further notes that the government has provided no statistics on whether or not the issue already exists and the amended law “goes too far as the existing law was more than sufficient to cope.”