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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Corporate Social Responsibility, Casino Capitalism, and the Constitution of Macau


Macau’s competitive foreign investment environment places it at the crossroads of global conceptions and articulations of corporate social responsibility (CSR). With tremendous financial resources at its disposal, including revenues six times those of Las Vegas, the Macau Government has a rare opportunity to position itself as a global leader in CSR practice. Nonetheless, systemic challenges such as low levels of public education and political development, the influence of mafia gangs, and high levels of human trafficking, problem gambling, and drug use persist. Although Macau’s situs as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China ensures that CSR here will take its own form, these issues could be better addressed with open acknowledgement of the problems and improved channeling of local resources. Utilizing Matten and Moon’s methodology, this Article provides an overview of Macau’s CSR repertoires at this important point in local history: on the eve of the expiration of the first concessions granted to foreign operators as well as twenty years into Macau’s practice of semi-autonomous government under Chinese administration. This snapshot records how local CSR norms have developed historically, observes a cultural divide in the local conceptualization of CSR objectives between local and foreign operators, and makes a case for the normative basis for enhancement contained within the Macau Basic Law that should underlie directions for the future.

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