The gaming industry is already counting losses due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. The casino businesses in Macau, one of China’s popular gaming zone has already started complaining. In fact, analysts now predict that the Asian casino industry is set to face tougher times ahead as more countries seek to prohibit gamblers from the mainland of China.
The first country to issue the ban was the Philippines. On Sunday, the Philippine authorities issued a ban barring residents from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau from entering the country. The ban, which was to take effect immediately, also includes anyone who has visited any of the three regions in the past two weeks.
The ban did not come as a surprise to many given that earlier on the Philippine government had banned travelers from Hubei Province, which is considered the source of the deadly virus. According to a report by CalvinAyre.com, the Philippine authorities are not taking any chances when it comes to the virus.
This is partly due to the fact that over 80 cases and one fatality have already been reported outside China. The reports on this virus have also taken a front page in most western countries, making it worldwide concern. No timeline was given for the ban. The Philippine casinos that depend highly on gamblers from China are expected to experience a major reduction in customer flow.
In Macau, things are no different. Macau casinos are currently handling about a fifth of their usual traffic, a number that is expected to dwindle further in the coming days after local authorities issued a decree requiring all staff and gamblers to put on face masks. The Philippine casinos can at least rely on the local residents to at least boost the numbers. But for Macau, things seem to be getting worse.
As of January 27, Paradise Co Limited, a gaming operator from South Korea issued a ban barring Chinese tour groups from gaining access to any of its four foreigners-only casinos. This came days after its counterpart Grand Korea Leisure, which operates three casinos, issued a similar ban.
Paradise gave a report saying that most of its Chinese clients were individual VIP visitors, and that tour groups were a small part of its overall business. Therefore, they hope the ban will not have major economic effects.
It is expected that from Tuesday, any foreigner who has recently visited the province of Hubei will not be allowed into South Korea. Ultimately, the ban may end up barring all Chinese residents from getting into South Korea, if the virus epidemic continues to wreak havoc.
The Triton Poker Super High Roller Series, which was expected to kick off on February 10 has been postponed. The annual event, which is hosted by Landing International’s Jeju Shinhwa World casinos was expected to be the first event at Triton calendar. So far, there is no information on when the event might be held.