Grand Lisboa Palace on Hiring Spree in Macau, $5B Cotai Casino Needs Workers

Posted on: September 8, 2020, 09:23h. 

Last updated on: September 8, 2020, 11:08h.

Casino workers around the globe have been furloughed or terminated from their jobs. But Grand Lisboa Palace on Macau’s Cotai Strip has positions to fulfill.

Grand Lisboa SJM Holdings Macau Cotai
SJM Holdings is conducting interviews and offering onsite job offers for its Grand Lisboa Palace casino on the Cotai Strip. (Image: SJM Holdings)

SJM Holdings, the gambling empire of the late Stanley Ho, who died in May at the age of 98, finished construction on its massive $5 billion integrated resort (IR) in March. The sprawling complex features 2,000 hotel rooms in three distinct towers — The Lisboa Palace Hotel, Palazzo Versace Macau, and Karl Lagerfeld Hotel.

The casino floor measures nearly 300,000 square feet and will be equipped with 700 table games and 1,200 slot machines.

SJM officials say last month the casino held a job fair, and some 2,000 locals turned out. Grand Lisboa hiring officials offered about 600 candidates job offers on the spot.

Moving to Cotai

SJM Holdings is trying to recoup market share in Macau. Ho held a monopoly on casino gambling in the enclave for four decades until it was returned from Portugal to Chinese rule in 1999. Two years later, the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) decided in 2002 to welcome in five additional commercial casino operators.

SJM went from commanding 100 percent of Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) at the turn of the century to just 14.9 percent last year. The five other commercial casino operators — Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts — have invested in new IRs off the main Macau peninsula in Cotai.

Sands coined the term “Cotai Strip” when it began reclaiming land on top of the Seac Pai Bay between Taipa and Colane islands. Today, Cotai — not downtown Macau — is where the enclave’s highest rollers spend their time and money.

The Venetian was the first integrated resort to open on the Strip back in 2007. Thirteen years later, SJM is finally ready to begin operations on the main drag that is today littered with multibillion-dollar, five-star luxury casino resorts.

Locals First

SJM says it’s looking to hire Macau residents for Grand Lisboa Palace.

“SJM gives priority to recruiting local talent for job openings and is dedicated to promoting career advancement for local employees,” said SJM Chair Daisy Ho. The billionaire is one of her late father’s 16 children.

SJM did not say how many workers it’s hiring for its Cotai casino.

Government officials in Macau have allowed casinos to stay open throughout the pandemic, the lone exception being a 15-day shutdown in February. The gaming venues have also been encouraged to keep their workers on the job, despite visitor volumes plunging by nearly 100 percent.

Unemployment has nonetheless increased as a result of the coronavirus. Macau’s unemployment rate was just 1.7 percent at the beginning of the year, but has climbed one percentage point as of July to 2.7 percent.

Casinos are the economic driver of Macau, as gambling accounts for roughly 90 percent of taxes received by the government.