Coronavirus

Casino tycoon stands by his staff

Macau gambling tycoon Alvin Chau.
Macau gambling tycoon Alvin Chau.

MACAU • Macau gambling tycoon Alvin Chau is not forcing his staff to take annual leave.

They will not suffer pay cuts either, even as the Macau authorities have told all casinos to close for 15 days from last Wednesday, as customers stay away because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Mr Chau, 45, who reportedly gave HK$300 million (S$54 million) last year to former model Mandy Lieu to end their five-year relationship, said in a staff memo: "The company is in the same situation with you. We're in this together."

Mr Chau, who is chief executive officer of Suncity Group, which caters to high rollers, added that his company can tackle all obstacles only if it has committed and loyal staff. Hence, it is imperative that the company stands by them in this current crisis.

Macau has recorded 10 corona-virus cases so far.

According to Hong Kong Economic Times, Mr Chau revealed that his company had bought more than 400,000 face masks for staff use and that he will ramp up measures to disinfect the company's premises.

Exhorting staff to stay brave and resilient amid adversity, he said "we can stand up strong again".

He has also donated 10 million yuan (S$2 million) to his home town, Zhaoqing City in Guangdong province, to boost efforts to contain and fight the virus.

Last October, he was in the news when he reportedly paid $54 million to Lieu. Apple Daily reported that Mr Chau, who has three children with Lieu, had no intention to divorce his wife Heidi Chan.

In 2015, Lieu was said to have tried to provoke Ms Chan by posting photos of her newborn daughter whom she gave birth to in London. That allegedly led to a quarrel between Lieu and Mr Chau, who had to appease his wife by ordering Lieu not to return to Hong Kong for the next two years.

Ms Chan, fed up of his wandering ways, once issued a statement, saying: "My husband has looks, money and education. It's normal to see many women trying to get close to him. No matter what, there is only one Mrs Chau."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2020, with the headline 'Casino tycoon stands by his staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe