SJM will guarantee job positions of shuttered satellite casinos linked to the group – Executive Director

Co-chairman and executive director of gaming operator SJM, Angela Leong On Kei, assured that the group would absorb any workers left unemployed by the closure of satellite casinos linked to the gaming concessionaire, Allin Media reported.

Currently, there are 18 operational satellite casinos among a total of 40 casinos in the territory, with 14 of these third-party promoted casinos running under the license of gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd while the other four are linked to Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.

Emperor Entertainment Hotel Limited previously announced that its casino located in its Grand Emperor Hotel will cease operations due to the “tough business operating environment arising from the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years”, with its service agreement with gaming concessionaire SJM set to expire on June 26.

Local government authorities have previously warned gaming concessionaires would bear the responsibility to take the necessary diligence to safeguard the rights of dismissed satellite casino workers.

According to the report, in comments after the official opening ceremony of this year’s Macao International Dragon Boat Races draw, Leong underlined that SJM will “of course” guarantee the jobs of dealers operating in this satellite casino.

The SJM executive director also expressed that each satellite casino has its own owner and that she could not respond on their behalf, but underlined she was “very optimistic about the future of Macau”.

“I don’t think I can speak for him, but I am very optimistic about Macau’s future. I believe in our government and our country,” she added according to the report.

A new version of the general gaming law presented by the Macau SAR government allows for satellite casinos to continue operating even if the property where they are located is not completely owned by a gaming concessionaire, a turnaround from the previous stance that could see these casinos closed if the situation was not resolved in a three-year transitional period after the new law was is enforced.

The previous draft wording had led several industry insiders to warn that multiple satellite casinos in the city could be closed and increase the local unemployment levels.

A previous dispatch by investment bank Citi indicated that SJM Holdings stood most to benefit from the changes included in the new gaming law draft version announced, as they could help alleviate the group’s financing problems.

Inquired about the changes, the also legislator responded that the government was still working on the revision and the AL committee and that she would not “share her opinion” until a final version is received.