Members of the Youth Affairs Committee of Macau have suggested that the workers of the casinos should be banned from casinos after the working hours as they are the likeliest to falling prey to problem gambling. The body also pondered upon increasing the minimum age requirement for accessing casinos to 21 from 18. However, the committee members agreed that more than these efforts will be needed for fighting problem gambling.
The Director of the Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming in the University of Macau, Davis Fong Ka Chio, said that the staff of casinos should be banned from gambling similar to how the same stipulations exist for public servants. The Gaming Industry Regulatory Framework and Civil Servants Framework place a ban on public servants which include police officers from entering into casinos and gaming areas except when they are authorized or are performing their duties.
At present there is only a restriction on the gaming employees from gambling in the same property where they are employed. Fong said that the government is about to announce a casino staff licensing framework this year. He called it a good opportunity for recognizing casino workers as an occupation that is at a high risk when it comes to problem gambling. He added that as a recent study reveals that young staff is very likely to become problem gamblers and since most casino employees in the area are young, it is advisable that such a rule should be created.
It was agreed to by most of the members of the committee that the minimum age for entering casinos should be raised from 18 to 21, which is also a promise made by the government. This ruling will also apply when the casino staff is being hired. However, according to one of the members of the committee the restriction can also lead to negative effects on the local youngsters, he said that if the young high school graduates were barred from working in casinos it will lead to human resource shortage. Fong said that a transitional period can be implemented so that the current employment rights of under 21 citizens aren’t affected.