Macau casinos are located more than 600 miles south of the Henan province and its Zhengzhou capital city, where heavy rains and flooding continue to ravage the area. But that isn’t preventing the six commercial gaming operators from donating to relief efforts.
Over the past 48 hours, all six Macau casino concessionaires have announced substantial monetary contributions to Henan assistance programs.
Ongoing torrential rainfall has resulted in at least 33 dead. And meteorologists warn that rainfall is expected to only intensify over the coming days. Severe flooding is expected to hit additional cities, as well as the neighboring province of Hebei.
Anxiety and calls for help are mounting in the smaller cities around Zhengzhou as the storm clouds behind Tuesday's deadly downpour shift north. A Xinxiang hospital chief stranded with patients and staff sent @stronghead_yo this video: pic.twitter.com/QCDe8qcdOM
— Rebecca Tan 陈慧珊 (@rebtanhs) July 22, 2021
Macau casinos are stepping up to help those impacted. Each of the six gaming operators have announced MOP10 million (US$1.25 million) donations. That collectively comes to $7.5 million being directed to relief undertakings.
Sands, MGM, Melco, Wynn, SJM, and Galaxy are the six licensed gaming firms in China’s Macau. The Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic is the only locale where slot machines and table games are permitted.
Macau’s six casino permit holders are set to see their operating rights expire next June. The odds are good that each will receive fresh tenders, though likely under new regulatory conditions.
Each firm is said to remain in Macau’s good graces. But the casinos nonetheless continue to promote their community and country engagement in the lead-up to June 2022.
Sands China considers it as part of our corporate social responsibility to support and assist in times of need, and we hope this donation will provide some level of relief to those affected and help them rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Sands China President Dr. Wilfred Wong.
Wynn’s statement regarding its Henan contribution said the casino giant is a “local enterprise deeply rooted in Macau that cares for the motherland.” MGM said it “shares blood ties with our compatriots in Zhengzhou.”
License Extensions Possible
While June 2022 is when the gaming licenses terminate, Macau law allows the local government to extend the rights one time. There’s a strong chance that will happen because of disruptions caused by COVID-19.
“I don’t think the government is in a rush to review the licenses because they want to do things right,” Dr. Wong told investors this week. “I think things will pan out eventually, because as we move closer to the expiry of the concession, naturally the extension of the concession is an option which the government will have to look at.”
COVID-19 continues to greatly impact gaming revenue at Macau casinos. Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong said today that the enclave expects full-year 2021 gross gaming revenue (GGR) to come in around $16.2 billion.
While that’s a substantial gain on the $7.53 billion casinos won last year, $16.2 billion represents only 44 percent of GGR realized pre-pandemic in 2019.
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