Casino operations suspended for 15 days

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong has announced on Tuesday that casinos, clubs, cinemas, and similar venues that see large gatherings will have their operations suspended for 15 days as a measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

“Of course during the suspension period gaming revenues will be zero but public health is more important”, Secretary Lei noted.

Macau gross gaming revenues have dropped by 11.3 per cent year-on-year in January 2020 to MOP22.12 billion (US$2.7 billion) with the number of Macau visitors during the Chinese New Year holiday period between January 24 and 30 – known as ‘Golden Week’ – falling 78.3 per cent year-on-year to 261,069.

The executive met on Tuesday with gaming concessionaires to discuss the suspension – which will include the Macau Jockey Club – but will not cover restaurants and other businesses outside the casino areas of integrated resorts.

During the suspension period, gaming operators were said to have pledged not to oblige employees to take unpaid leave, maintaining paid annual leave during this period.

Two confirmed coronavirus cases by Macau residents were revealed today, with three confirmed so far and bringing up the total tally in the city to 10.

The ninth case involved a local Galaxy employee who is said to have used the casino workers canteen and the group’s shuttle bus service.

[To be updated]