As a partnership actively pursuing an IR license in Japan, Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group and Europe’s Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer have been among the industry’s leading lights during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Partners in Japan and leaders within the communities in which they operate, Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) have also emerged on the front foot in the battle against COVID-19.
Since the spread of coronavirus first reared its head in Macau in late January, GEG has been at the heart of efforts to help those in need and was among the early movers when it came to offering a helping hand.
The company initiated financial assistance as early as 2 February 2020 when it announced donations via the Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation totaling MOP$25 million (US$3.1 million), including MOP$20 million (US$2.5 million) to Hubei Province – where the COVID-19 outbreak originated – to assist in relief efforts. The donation was used to purchase medical supplies and equipment that were in urgent demand in the region at the time.
The remaining MOP$5 million was donated to support prevention initiatives in the local Macau community, with a special GEG task force set up to help accelerate implementation of the initiative. The company had previously donated disinfectant and hygiene products to the Women’s General Association of Macau and the Fuhong Society of Macau to better prepare their staff in assisting with the sale of face masks to the public.
Shortly afterwards, GEG also announced the donation of one million face masks to the Macau SAR Government, Zhuhai City Government and Hengqin New Area Government at a time when accessing safety equipment was becoming increasingly difficult due to demand. The donation included 500,000 masks to Macau and another 500,000 to Zhuhai and Hengqin.
In early March, GEG stepped in to support local Macau SMEs (small and medium-sizes enterprises) by subscribing to HK$100 million of SME-themed COVID-19 Impact Alleviation Social Bonds issued by Bank of China (BOC) Macau.
The Social Bonds were issued by BOC Macau in response to the government’s call to support affected SMEs in overcoming their financial challenges during the COVID-19 epidemic. The proceeds raised have already been used to provide special loans and reduce the financing costs of Macau SMEs by providing health care and medical supplies.
“Through BOC Macau’s financial market insight, professional services and rich experiences in working with SMEs, GEG believes our HK$100 million subscription of the Social Bonds will help offer prompt and efficient assistance to local SMEs and alleviate their operating and financing pressures amid this critical period,” Galaxy said at the time.
By April, GEG had lifted its total financial contribution for COVID-19 initiatives to MOP$200 million (US$25 million) with the donation of an additional MOP$75 million (US$9.4 million) to provide care for frontline healthcare workers in mainland China, and to help with public health promotion and support medical and scientific research related to the pandemic.
It also assisted local organizations with sanitation efforts. Working with global hygiene expert Rentokil, GEG began carrying out high-efficient air sanitizations at local social service organizations such as Kai Hong Centre and Kai Lung Centre of the Macau Association for The Mentally Handicapped, Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind of Macau Holy House of Mercy, the Association of Parents of the People with Intellectual Disabilities of Macau, Fuhong Society of Macau and many more.
More recently, both Galaxy and SBM have been leading the way in providing a safe and sanitary environment for guests as their respective properties begin preparations to resume full operations.
SBM announced on 23 March that it was closing the Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Hotel Meridien Beach Plaza and Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, along with all casinos, restaurants and bars, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, with properties gradually re-opening from early June, the company has implemented a sweeping array of health and safety initiatives across its portfolio of hotels and casinos.
They include limits to the number of guests allowed into any establishment at one time, compulsory masks for all staff, temperature checks at all entrances, hand sanitizer dispensers at all points of contact for customers and staff, regular cleaning of contact surfaces and mandatory social distancing.
Hotel guests will no longer have access to luggage storage for health reasons, with rooms cleaned in accordance with new government protocols, while the casino will see all gaming tables, seats, chips, plaques, gaming equipment and slot machines regularly disinfected. Partitions have been installed between electronic gaming machines, of which every second machine will be disabled.
Similar measures are in place at Galaxy’s properties in Macau – Galaxy Macau, StarWorld and Broadway Macau – where staff have been provided with a series of 50 different health, safety and virus prevention training courses to increase their knowledge in the face of COVID-19.
The courses saw more than 100,000 participation counts and 350,000 training hours in April and May.
The broad-range programs have included courses on GEG’s mission, vision and values, health and safety, personal hygiene and wellbeing, workplace safety and professionalism.
“Through organizing these comprehensive training courses, GEG hopes to develop and engage its team members to work together, learn from each other and to strengthen the bond between them,” GEG said. “Up to 100 GEG executives will also participate in the training activities in support of the team members.”