Macau Government Suspends Casinos Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Global authorities continue to react to the Coronavirus outbreak with the Macau Government ordering the immediate closure of all Macau casinos in reaction to the global health emergency.

With over 400 deaths reported in China from the Coronavirus, and tens of thousands more infected all around the world, authorities have been forced into action with many industries restricting exposure to the source of the outbreak.

We reported earlier in the week about the postponement of the Triton Poker High Roller Series which was scheduled for next week in Jeju, South Korea, and now, an even more significant consequence of the outbreak in Macau.

With Macau’s close proximity to mainland China, and the influx of Chinese patrons crossing the border, the Macau Government have reacted by ordering a closure of all casino operations across 41 casinos for the next two weeks, and potentially longer if the virus is not contained. Macau has at least a dozen reported cases of the Coronavirus.

“This is a difficult decision but we have to do it, for the health of our Macau residents,” said Macau’s chief executive Ho Iat-seng.

The financial impact on Macau is enormous with businesses suffering huge expenses and government coffers taking a massive dent with casino revenue accounting for 80 percent of the income for the local government.

“There’s no way to hide from the fact that we employ tens of thousands of people in these markets. And it’s an expensive business to operate,” said Las Vegas Sands President and COO Robert Goldstein. “We’re doing our best. We’ll do all the paid-time-off, all things we can do to mitigate, but I think it’d be silly to think that we can make a material impact on operating costs. They’re real.”

Macau’s loss may be the gain for the Philippines, with reported increases in traffic as the Chinese look for new avenues for their gambling exploits.

TDD Staff
TDD Staff
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