he legislation would require one local construction worker be employed for every foreign worker brought onto a project, a Macau government spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires. She didn't say when the law might be put into place.
The restrictions, if enacted, would make it difficult for casino operators to hire the workers they need to complete their projects without severe delays. A shortage of labor in Macau has prompted developers to import many of their construction workers from elsewhere, especially mainland China.
Sands China Ltd., a unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp., could be particularly vulnerable to the new legislation. Analysts estimate the company will need upwards of 10,000 workers to complete a massive expansion of its existing operations in Macau's Cotai area, home to the Venetian Macao.
The proposal comes ahead of a sensitive anniversary. On May 1, 2007, violent clashes broke out during a Labor Day protest by Macau workers over corruption and use of illegal laborers in the construction industry.