Macau’s Casinos Donate To Typhoon Relief & Help City Cleanup

September 5, 2017 by Paul Butcher

Wynn Macau - Typhoon HatoMacau’s gaming regulator met with the six major casino operators in the city along with senior representatives from the local Labour Affairs Bureau. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DJIC) said in a subsequent statement that it had been closely following the efforts taken by casino operators to protect and ensure the safety of their patrons and casino workers during the recent typhoon that hit Macau.

Typhoon Hato hit Macau on August 23 was the biggest typhoon to hit the gaming hub in 53 years. With winds exceeding 200 kilometres per hour (124 mph), the typhoon caused massive flooding, loss of water and power supply to major parts of the city. The typhoon was classified as Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No.10 only a few hours before its landfall.

According to government regulations, a No.8 Signal for a typhoon is enough for air, road, and ferry transport to be shut down. The severity of the typhoon was mostly unanticipated and led to at least 10 lives being lost.

South China Morning Post

Casino operators were affected to a significant degree by the typhoon for nearly two days. Several casino, hotel and restaurant properties were temporarily shut down due to a power shutdown or lack of water. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, one of the major casino operators in Macau received criticism for their handling of staff issues particularly frontline staff that had work on the day of the typhoon.

While the total economic losses suffered by the city is estimated to be in the region of $216 million based on local media reports, most of the major casinos and hotels have said that their business operations are slowly returning to normal. However there are still a few restaurants that remain closed due to unstable water supply.

Japanese brokerage Nomura has slashed the growth forecast for Macau by around 6 percentage points dropping it to 19 percent for the month. According to DICJ, gaming operators have promised to improve arrangements for staff during typhoons.

Casino operators have pledged a total of MOP215 million (US$26.7 million) toward relief efforts. They have also promised to mobilize staff to work as volunteers for community clean-up programs in the city.

In a statement, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, chairman and chief executive of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd said,

Right now, our top priority is to get all of Macau to stand tall again so that all of us are better prepared and more resilient for the future