Almost all Macau casinos have reopened after the coronavirus-related shutdown; however, no one expects things to be back to usual for many months to come.
As reported by calvinayre.com, another four Macau casinos restarted their gaming operations on Monday, making 33 of the gaming center’s 39 casinos which have launched ‘phased re-openings’ after the end of the government-ordered 15-day closure last Thursday.
Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) was quoted by GGR Asia, saying on Monday, Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s Altira Macau, the Grand Dragon Casino on Taipa, the Waldo Hotel and Hotel President had all recommenced gaming operations. On Thursday (27), Sands China’s Sands Cotai Central is expected to open its doors.
As a stipulation of re-opening, the DICJ levied new restrictions on casino operations, such as requiring all guests and casino employees to wear face masks, restricting the number of players at a gaming table and not letting ‘standing bets’.
However, Joe Vong, the DICJ’s head of inspection, said Sunday that the regulator had received complaints from both employees and the public concerning some casinos letting a high number of players at tables. Vong reminded operators of the DICJ’s rules and cautioned that inspections were being conducted everyday to ensure compliance.
Other complaints included one anonymous casino concessionaire who failed to provide employees with masks, but Vong said the situation had been taken care of, following the DICJ’s intervention. Another complaint concerned a casino which failed to sterilize its gaming chips, which Vong said was owing to a lack of cleaning supplies which has since been remedied.
Irrespective of the forward progress, analysts anticipate February’s gross gaming revenue to drop as much as 90% year-on-year, while the decline for March could drop by 80% if Beijing decides not to relax the current restrictions on individual visit programs and groups visas to Macau.
It seems improbable that Beijing will do much to change the status quo as official figures released by China on Monday showed 409 new coronavirus cases and 150 new deaths – up from about 100 per day over the last few days – bringing the death toll in China to almost 2,600. Even worse, the current spread of the virus to other Asia-Pacific countries like Japan and South Korea will further lessen the flow of gamblers to the world’s major gambling hub.