Salaries slashed at James Packers casino Crown Macau - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

JAMES Packers gamble on casinos has already cost him billions but the workers at his Macau investment are the latest to pay the price.

Crown Macau staff have taken a haircut of up to 8 per cent on their wages after government officials gave Packers consortium, Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL), permission to slash their salaries, reports The Daily Telegraph.

MPEL is moving to cut costs as the Macau casino industry continues to be hit hard by the economic downturn and a travel ruling (recently overturned) that slowed high-roller visits from mainland China.

Crown Macau workers had previously agreed to other staffing options, including a shorter working week, unpaid leave and sabbaticals, in a bid to avoid large-scale axings.

The pay deal, affecting the casinos staff of 3610, came into effect from December 1.

MPEL told labour authorities it had also sacked "excessive imported staff members, including some from senior levels.

It was believed Packers consortium partner, casino mogul Lawrence Ho, the co-chairman and chief executive of MPEL, was among executives who "had their salaries reduced by some amount of per cent, a government spokesman said.

Mr Ho committed the company to its investment in Macau and the training of local staff.

"I have always believed that our long-term success depends first and foremost on our employees, he said.

"We have insisted on exploring ways to avoid large-scale redundancies and our primary hope is to keep our employee teams together in the best shape possible.

"This will help us to best deal with the current turbulence in market conditions, so that when the market revives -- as it most surely will -- MPEL will be best poised to benefit.

Although sources close to Packer have long scoffed at his "obsessive gamble on gaming assets, he is believed to be cashing in other investments to up his stake in the Macau market.

The reported $400 million set to be raised from the sale of his familys cattle properties, Consolidated Pastoral Holdings, is likely to be wagered almost entirely on his next planned Macau project, City Of Dreams.

The $2.2 billion mega-casino is slated to open mid-year.

Other news from around the same time

Gambling company now pushing own casino proposal - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

The company that spent $36 million to defeat a gambling measure last year has returned with a propos....

The Gambling Commission has found nothing - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

Last summer, officials from the Gambling Commission, accompanied by police officers, visited Kevin W....

New East Manchester: Proposals for casino site coming in spring - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

Regeneration company New East Manchester has promised “hundreds of millions of pounds” will be i....

Casino plan for Excel revived - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

Excel could still become Londons premier gambling venue if plans to open a casino on the site are re....

United Coin takes over management of Sparks casino - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

United Coin Machine Co., of Las Vegas, one of the state’s largest slot machine route operators, ha....

Binion still casino hunting - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

Jack Binion is back in Las Vegas from a recent trip to Macau where he took a close look at the state....

Mark Lipparelli named to the Nevada Gaming Board - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

Mark Lipparelli, a former employee of the Nevada Gaming Board who spent a number of years in executi....

$135,000 winning lottery cards were printing errors - Tuesday 13th of January 2009

A CANADIAN who thought he had won $135,000 on four lottery scratch tickets has been told they were p....

Malta-based companies abetting illegal Internet gambling operations - Monday 12th of January 2009

Malta has served as a payment distribution base for the multi-billion dollar Bodog gambling empire, ....

Bets are off for Macau gambling boom - Monday 12th of January 2009

Macaus landscape shows the far reach of human ambition - land reclamations have joined up the two is....