Labour activist group petitions against casino reopening

Local gaming labour-activist group, New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, delivered a petition today to the authorities against the reopening of casinos starting from midnight tomorrow, local media reported.

The petition said the group is worried the casino reopening will increase the risks of gaming workers for getting the novel coronavirus.

In the fight against the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has infected over 70,000 people in Mainland China, the Macau administration has ordered the shutdown of all casino properties and other entertainment venues in the city for 15 days until midnight tomorrow (Feb 20).

Cloee Chao, president of the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, was quoted as saying today: “It is understandable for the casinos to reopen due to economic reasons.”

“But the fact is there will still be no guests after the reopening,” she continued. “So I don’t understand why [the workers] have to bear a greater risk for the reopening of casinos.”

The Macau administration decided earlier this week the casinos could reopen starting from tomorrow, but other entertainment venues in the city — namely gyms, beauty salons, and bars — remain to be closed.

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has also released a guideline this week mandating the number of gaming tables allowed on the gaming floor after the reopening of casinos cannot exceed half of its original capacity.

According to the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, all the six gaming operators would have their gaming properties gradually reopen starting from tomorrow.

The group also urged casino croupiers should be allowed to wear gloves — in addition to face masks — when on shift, while casinos should stop serving drinks and foods on gaming tables.