500 laid off at Asia’s biggest casino as slump hits gambling

December 23rd, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, Dec 23 (DPA) Five hundred employees at Asia’s biggest casino resort, the Venetian Macao, have been laid off as the global slump hits betting revenues, a news report said Tuesday.Other casino workers at the glitzy multi-billion-dollar complex, which opened in August last year, have reportedly been asked to cut their working week from 48 hours to 40 hours from January.

The redundancies come as casinos in the southern Chinese resort struggle to cope with the economic slump and new restrictions on gamblers from China travelling to Macau.

One hundred managers as well as workers at all levels are among the redundancies at the Venetian Macao, owned by the US casino operator Las Vegas Sands, according to the South China Morning Post.

Thousands of construction workers were laid off in November when work was halted on four luxury hotels attached to US-owned casino complexes in Macau.

Gambling revenues in Macau, which last year exceeded the Las Vegas Strip, have plummeted this year largely because of new limits imposed by China on visits to the territory of 450,000 people.

Macau was a Portuguese colony for four and a half centuries before reverting to Chinese sovereignty under a “one country two systems” arrangement in December 1999.

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