Gaming watchdog reveals new casino Covid-19 health preventions measures

The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) has described today some of the new health preventive measures that will have to be enforced by local gaming operators after casino operations are allowed to re-start at midnight February 20.

As the final deadline of the 15-day suspension on casino operations imposed by the Macau government to avoid the spread of Covid-19 reaches its end, the gaming regulator met with all six concessionaires and sub-concessionaires yesterday to discuss the preventive health measures to be introduced.

Operators are also allowed to postpone or partially reopen their casinos for a period of 30 days, after which all casinos must be re-opened.

Previously, gaming operators were already mandated to conduct body temperature checks on all visitors and workers at each of all 405 customer entries and exits, plus 47 entries and exits for workers.

This procedure will continue with new measures implemented, such as the requirement for masks to be worn by all workers and visitors and the restriction of access to casinos to all individuals who have been in Hubei province, 14 days prior to entry into the Macau SAR.

Cleaning and disinfection of gaming areas must be carried out frequently, with all workers and visitors having to present a health declaration stating they do not have cough or fever symptoms; be subjected to temperature measurements; and wear a mask

Standing bets will also not permitted on gaming tables and a minimum distance must be maintained between the seats of customers wishing to place bets.

‘If the same baccarat table has seven seats, only three or four people will be allowed to bet simultaneously,’ the DICJ noted.

In order to guarantee a safe distance between tables, in each game area it is not allowed to have more than half the tables shut down and gaming machines in operation must be separated between one or two not available in order to guarantee the distance between the customers.

‘In the canteens for workers, there must be a distance between the seats, preventing the risk of contagion. During rest periods, workers should be dispersed, avoiding large crowds of people,’ it was also noted.

gaming operators should also decide which workers can be defined as non-essential to their operations to remain at home and avoid leaving borders, reducing the risk of contagion.

Concessionaires should also provide enough shuttle buses to transport their workers to the properties, with these transports to be regularly cleaned.

Parking spaces for workers should also be provided to reduce the need for public collective transport.