Melco announces six-week target for typhoon relief distribution in Macau

  • Casino brand pledged MOP 30 million for disaster victims
  • Deadly double storm struck Macau’s casino district in August

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has revealed that the MOP 30 million (US $3.7 million) relief funds it pledged last week for Typhoon Hato recovery will be available within six weeks. A statement by the company gives mid-October as a target date for the distribution of relief funding.

Typhoon Hato struck Macau , leaving a trail of destruction. Photo:
Typhoon Hato struck Macau , leaving a trail of destruction. Photo:

Melco Resorts has also revealed how those funds will be allocated, with two-thirds of the money being donated to employees and their families. The rest of the money will go towards rebuilding the community, and supporting those in need.

Melco workers get company support after dual storm

On August 23, Typhoon Hato swung into Macau and caused devastating flooding across the city. Many casino resorts, homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, while ten people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured. Days after Hato made landfall, Tropical Storm Pakhar brought further flooding and damage to the region.

In the aftermath of the devastating typhoon and subsequent tropical storm, 2500 Melco casino workers and contractors contributed to the disaster relief effort. They delivered bottled water to survivors and helped to clear debris and restore buildings. Now, the company is making sure those employees are looked after.

MOP 20 million (US $2.4 million) will be made available to employees and their families, Sunday’s press release revealed. Each worker can apply for MOP 10,000 (around $1,240) from the relief fund, and the money should be distributed within the next six weeks.

Melco joins casinos in funding recovery

As well as supporting workers, Melco Resorts is making MOP 10 million available for the local community, which will go towards rebuilding and restoring the Cotai Strip and wider city district.

“Right now, our top priority is to get all of Macau to stand tall again,” said Melco’s chairman Lawrence Ho.

Macau’s casino businesses have made significant contributions to the typhoon recovery effort. MOP 185 million ($22.9 million) had been pledged by casinos at the end of last week. Sands China, MGM and Galaxy have also given ground support through making workers available, and contributed funds for the community.

Strong year for casinos could offset storm losses

As well as pledging funds for the community and for workers, casinos operators are expecting to take a significant hit to their August profits due to lost gaming revenue.

While many premises were able to stay open during and after the storm thanks to back-up generators and swift clean-up efforts, others remained closed for several days after the storm. Punters also stayed away while the district was heavily flooded.

However, business is already recovering and the city is starting to rebuild itself. Macau has seen an exceptional year for gambling revenue, especially across the VIP sector, and profits have been steadily climbing for twelve consecutive months.

While the loss will be felt in the immediate few weeks and months, experts predict that Macau should come out of the year with a sizable profit margin.

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