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Labour Regulation in the Liberalised Casino Economy: The Case of the Croupiers
Alex H. Choi; Eva P. W. Hung
Source PublicationGaming, Governance and Public Policy in Macau
Author of SourceNewman Lam and Ian Scott
Publication PlaceHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong University Press
Other Abstract

The proliferation of casinos over the past few decades has gone hand in hand with the advance of the neoliberal global economy. The governments of the developed world have resorted to casinos as a source of painless taxation to bridge shortfalls in social expenditure and their reduced ability to tax business in a world of capital mobility. Third World governments have also sought to boost their economies and their tourism industry, in particular, by encouraging the development of resort gambling. In the words of Austrin and West (2004:145), 'new sites of urban pleasure' have been created for the mass gambling market in an era of global consumption. One of the key promises to win popular acceptance of gambling legalisation is economic development and job opportunities. With the exception of Las Vegas, however, where strong labour unions have boosted the wages and benefits of casino workers, research has generally found that casino jobs are low-skilled and poorly paid with little job security. Casino management tends to favour the employment of nonlocals, ethnic minorities and women workers to fill these positions. Even croupiers, who directly handle the games, are no exception to this rule. Frey and Carns (1987:38) note that:

… casino work, particularly that of the dealer, is characterized by low skill requirements, few prospects of advancement, little or no reward for seniority, high turnover, low employer investment in individual worker careers, and very low job security. In a word, then, the occupations in gambling casinos are interchangeable (our emphasis) in the sense that units can be inserted to replace existing units with little or no consideration of human values in the process. The only primary labour market characteristically found in the casino work place is that of high wages, which has thus become the only claim the organization has on the worker, and vice-versa.

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Document TypeBook chapter
CollectionFaculty of Social Sciences
AffiliationUniversity of Macau
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
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Alex H. Choi,Eva P. W. Hung. Labour Regulation in the Liberalised Casino Economy: The Case of the Croupiers. Hong Kong:Hong Kong University Press,2011:145-162.
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