Two Macau casinos to install floodgates ahead of typhoon season
The gambling mecca of Macau is battening down the hatches as it prepares for what has been predicted to be a heavy storm season. Forecasts are calling for as many as six typhoons to pop up in the waters around the city and local authorities are getting prepared. So are at least a few casino resorts, as two have installed floodgates as a precautionary measure.
When Typhoon Mangkhut, the strongest storm to hit the area in 2018, struck last year, it caused flooding in areas such as Taipa and Coloane, as well as most of the inner harbor. It also caused the city to halt gaming activity for the first time in years. According to GGRAsia, this year, Ponte 16 and Macau Fisherman’s Wharf are looking to offer better protections and installed the floodgates, as well as introduced other upgrades, in an effort to beat Mother Nature.
Legend Palace, which is located on Fisherman’s Wharf, had to be closed for four weeks due to flooding after Typhoon Hato struck the area in 2017. Universe Group Ltd.’s Ponte 16, which is located in the Inner Harbour district of Macau, also suffered flood damage to one of its gaming areas from that storm, which was determined to be a Category 10 typhoon, the strongest possible. The damages incurred by both facilities was particularly hard on SJM Holdings, which owns the gaming license for the two venues.
In a statement to GGRAsia, Success Universe deputy chairman and executive chairman Hoffman Ma Ho Man stated, “Two months ago, we’d already completed and installed new mechanical anti-flood barriers, which protects the left and right side of our property.”
Ma added that the barriers had been purchased from Parafoil Design and Engineering Pte Ltd., and that Ponte 16 has been investing “millions” of Hong Kong dollars to create a better defense against possible flooding. He added, “The mechanical anti-flood barrier is above 1 metre [3.3 feet] in height. Compared to traditional floodgates, this device can be raised and lowered faster and is also equipped with a drainage system.”
On the other side of the peninsula from Ponte 16, Fisherman’s Wharf hopes its new floodgates and water pumps will protect the area’s casinos and other businesses, which include, among others, Babylon Casino, Rocks Hotel, Harbourview Hotel and the aforementioned Legend Palace.
The first typhoon to appear this year is expected any day. The last, according to meteorologists, could come sometime in October.
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