Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd has told GGRAsia it hopes to “make available a hotel soon” for use by the Macau government as a quarantine facility during the novel-coronavirus crisis.
The firm added in a Wednesday email that its parent Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau SA, also known as STDM – as well as “related” companies – had already made available to the local authorities Grand Lapa Hotel on Macau peninsula, Grand Coloane Resort in Coloane, and Regency Art Hotel in Taipa as “medical observation venues, and are all in operation now”.
SJM Holdings further noted in its statement, referring to the fact there are currently controls on cross-border movement of mainland China residents that also have a Macau non-resident worker permit: “As a majority of hotel rooms operated by SJM have been allocated for non-local employees who reside in Zhuhai and are required to work in Macau during the epidemic, SJM is looking into mobilising its hotel resources hoping to make available a hotel soon to provide support for the [infection] control work of the government.”
Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, had highlighted to the local media during a Tuesday briefing the difficulties the city’s government had encountered in finding suitable hotels to accommodate those people – unconnected to the cohort of Zhuhai non-resident workers – required to undergo up to 14 days of medical observation when returning to the city during the current crisis.
Mr Ho had said the Macau government was “disappointed” with the response its request for such facilities, and made specific reference to the corporate social responsibilities of the city’s casino operators.
The city’s gaming regulator had already confirmed that two casinos running under the gaming rights of SJM Holdings – Casino Eastern and Casino Taipa – had been closed and that their linked accommodation facilities – Grand Lapa Hotel and Regency Art Hotel respectively had been accessed by the Macau government for the quarantine effort.
Grand Coloane Resort is a non-gaming property. It and Grand Lapa Hotel are managed by Artyzen Hospitality Group, the hotel management arm of Hong Kong-listed conglomerate Shun Tak Holdings Ltd. The latter was founded by now-retired former Macau casino monopolist Stanley Ho Hung Sun, the founder also of SJM Holdings.
As of noon on Wednesday, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) noted that it had nine hotels designated for the quarantine effort. They are: Pousada Marina Infante Hotel on Cotai; Golden Crown China Hotel in Taipa; Regency Art Hotel; Grand Coloane Resort; the Metropole Hotel in downtown Macau; the Treasure Hotel in Taipa; San Tung Fong Commercial Inn South Wing in downtown Macau; and the Grand Lapa Hotel; as well as the Grand Harbour Hotel in the city’s Inner Harbour district.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China