Macau Shuts Down All Casinos, Alvin Chau Guarantees Paid Leave for His Employees

With 10 confirmed Wuhan coronavirus cases in Macau, the government has declared a 15-day temporary shut-down of all casinos and most entertainment venues around the city, impacting thousands of casino workers.

A cease in operations for 15 days is bad for business, but Alvin Chau (周焯華), chairman of Suncity Group, promised his employees that the shut down will not affect their salaries or benefits.

In a memo he released to all company workers, Alvin reassured his employees that he will not be demanding them to take unpaid leave, and also announced that he will not be reducing salaries. The 15-day mandatory leave will be treated as a “special paid vacation”, and that it will not affect the employees’ vacation accrual for the year.

“Just like in 2014, just like last year, this time is no exception,” he said. “The company is in the same line of battle with you. We’re in this together […] a company’s biggest wealth is to have a team with good morale and high spirits.”

He also encouraged all employees to follow preventative measures recommended by the government, such as staying home and not attend mass gatherings. He shared that he has purchased over 400,000 face masks to distribute to the employees upon their return to work. He will also establish sanitation teams in all offices and other important areas of contact.

“To all employees, thank you all for facing this challenge together with the company! Let us not be afraid of the storm in adversity, so when circumstances fall to our favor we can stand up strong again.”

As one of the wealthiest men in Asia, Alvin Chau’s net worth is estimated to be around US$2 billion. He infamously dated Mandy Lieu while being married to businesswoman Heidi Chan (陳慧玲).

In addition to closing casinos, Macau has also closed down most of its borders with mainland China. All sea links between Macau and Hong Kong are suspended.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. That’s the least he could do for his employees. Given his wealth he could afford the loss and he’s willing to do it. My heart goes to the small mom and pop shops that are unable to sustain this time of distress. They still have to par rent, food and expenses. Esp in China where there is no welfare system or benefits for under employment. Hope this virus gets cleared soon and things go back to normal.

    1. @m0m0 also there’s been a sharp increase in prices too amid consumer stockpiling and limited availability of goods. Aside from face masks, grocery prices have gone way up.

      Rice is out of stock in many stores in HK. My cousin has no more rice to eat at home and has to live off noodles for a while.

      In Fujian, my friend’s mom said the regular price of rice used to be 60 RMB but has not shot up to 300 RMB. A bunch of vegetables easily cost 50 or 60 RMB now.

      1. @jayne
        That’s not what they are advertising. Several YouTube said price was stable but that was last week. This has turned into a pandemic in Asia.

      2. @jayne – I heard the same. My cousin in HK told me that even noodles are running out of stock along with paper towels and toilet paper. He sent me pictures of supermarkets when the shelves are completely empty. Everyone is in a stake of panic.

      3. @jayne Singapore’s supermarkets are also empty as a friend of a friend of mine said. It’s panic in Singapore atm because the case count is going up fast in Singapore :/

      4. @littlefish thats cos we have people blindly following the lead of social media updates. After a crazy weekend, most come to their senses and things are fairly back to normal now.
        it is unfortunate that people needs a wakeup call to look into their own hygiene and to be quickly thrown out when the crisis is over

      5. @conan2209 yea, but at the same time, Singapore is such a great trade hub, would you kinda blame them lol. Glad to hear the panic settle down. I think what it should be is the supermarket chain should take this as a lesson and do a restriction like how in Australia, people only allows to buy 2 can of milk powder a day. So before the media goes off, they should already have a plan to control the panic buying.

  2. Last I heard (last week via. YouTube ), prices in China have more or less remained the same. If there is an increase, it’s subtle.

    Why? Because the CCP government will come down and shut you down if you unfairly jack up prices to rip people off.

    This never happens in the west. The government will just turn a blind eye.

    Unlike in HK, most of the essentials have skyrocketed in price and the price of N95 Masks in the west.

    $10CAD EACH in Vancouver.

    As for Alvin Chau’s generosity, that is very nice of him. He didn’t have to do it yet some still have the audacity to downplay his generosity when you know very well that… In the west, 99% of billion dollar companies won’t give a crap about their employees if similar circumstances happened and if they want a handout they will tell them to beg the government and you know that’s true.

    Democracy is so great. /s

    1. @anon
      It is called the beauty of capitalism. Price control is called socialism which is exactly antidemocracy. I admire that c china is actively monitoring prices but wouldnt u think that commodity is hard to come by at this time? There is something called fair market value where people would only buy and sell at a fair price. If only price sky rockets just simply ripping people off then the demand would go down and then the price comes back down to match equilibrium. Same goes if prices too low, demand will drive price go up.

      1. @m0m0

        There’s little beauty in capitalism. America is a fine example of that. Trickle down economy has failed the American people. American capitalism enables the top 2% to own 40% of America’s wealth. A majority of the US population can’t even take care of an unexpected $500 bill.

        If that’s beauty, I don’t want your beauty.

        I didn’t even bother reading the rest when I don’t even agree with your first statement.

        Look into your democratic candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign. He talks about it each and everyday.

      2. @anon
        i don’t anticipate that socialist views would every agree with free market views. it’s like water and oil.

  3. @m0m0

    If your capitalistic model is working so well there won’t be so many poor people in the USA that can’t even afford Healthcare and pay off their student loans. Deep down you know that’s true.

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