Macau casino operators and junket firms have so far in aggregate donated more than MOP200 million (US$25 million) either for research, infection-prevention, or treatment efforts regarding the novel coronavirus that has subsequently seen their gaming operations in the city shut down for 15 days from midnight on February 5.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd announced a donation of MOP20 million through Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation to Hubei province in mainland China – the epicentre of the disease outbreak. The money was to help tackle the situation there and “assist in relief efforts,” the casino firm said. The group’s foundation donated a further MOP5 million to “support the prevention initiatives in the Macau community,” the Hong Kong-listed parent said.
As of Monday morning, 1o people present in Macau – including three locals with no recent history of travel to Hubei – had been confirmed as having been infected with the virus. One of the patients – a tourist from Hubei – was released from hospital last week after a fortnight in medical isolation in Macau. The Macau government said over the weekend that the remaining nine people could be discharged soon, depending on the results of additional tests.
Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd said it was working with the Macau government to donate HKD20 million (nearly US$2.6 million) to support “initiatives” for the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, and the rest of Hubei.
The donation was to purchase “medical supplies including face masks and hand sanitisers, as well as to support the local community as needed,” said the firm.
MGM China Holdings Ltd gave MOP20 million for Hubei province “for the purchase of preventive and medical supplies, as well as urgently-needed materials and equipment,” as the firm’s contribution to “national epidemic relief and prevention”.
Sands China Ltd gave MOP20 million “to assist the mainland in its efforts to combat the virus,” and another MOP5 million to “support the local community in implementing preventive measures”.
SJM Holdings Ltd donated MOP20 million “to aid coronavirus control and relief efforts” in Hubei province, including “purchasing much-needed medical supplies and protective equipment”.
Wynn Macau Ltd also donated MOP20 million to Hubei province to help fight the spread of the virus there.
Beijing’s representative body in Macau – the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macau Special Administrative Region – acted as the go-between for most of the donations to Hubei, mentioned a number of the casino operators.
According to the central government’s Liaison Office, junket investor Suncity Group has donated MOP30 million to Hubei province, to support the efforts there to contain the novel coronavirus.
Junket investor Tak Chun Group has also announced a HKD20 million donation to mainland authorities working to control the virus. The group said additionally that it would send 100,000 face masks to Hubei province, and offer another 100,000 face masks to the Macau authorities.
Junket brand Meg-Star Group said it was giving MOP10 million – via its Meg-Star International Charity Association – for medical supplies to Hubei province. The brand also announced it had set up a “Wuhan Coronavirus Special Fund” to assist work in Wuhan and Hubei province as a whole, as well as locally in Macau. Meg-Star Group said also that its donation would be “adjusted or increased accordingly based on the development of the coronavirus outbreak in China”.
The Guangdong Group junket business has also given MOP10 million – via an entity called the Guangdong Charity Foundation – to help fight coronavirus in mainland China and for preventive work in Macau.
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