Asia-Pacific Gaming

Macau Casinos Donate Millions of Dollars for Henan Flood Relief

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.

Cars pile up on a flooded street in Zhengzhou city in China’s central Henan province on July 21, 2021. Macau casinos are opening their checkbooks to help provide financial aid to victims. (Image: RFA)

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.

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.

Community Partners

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.

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email:

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Devin O'Connor