Coronavirus causes 88% drop in revenue at Macau casinos
March 5, 2020
Macau casinos have taken a massive knock as the coronavirus causes a drop in gambling revenue.
You can’t peruse any form of social media at the moment without the mention of the coronavirus flooding your timeline.
As the COVID-19 virus spreads, the world over is taking every precaution necessary. No one is untouched, including casinos.
Gambling in Macau takes a knock
Starting on the 4th of February 2020, the special administration of China ordered that all of its casinos shut their doors for a period of 15 days. As the coronavirus continued to spread, China restricted the number of permits and tour groups to Macau.
In a last-ditch attempt to prevent further exposure to the virus, Macau considered shutting down its borders entirely.
Macau is one of the largest gambling countries in the world and the shut down caused massive harm to their bottom line.
Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) reported that local casinos had generated only US $386.6 million in February. This is a huge 87.8% compared to February of 2019.
Restrictions for reopening casinos
As the 15-day shutdown period came to an end, casinos in Macau slowly started to reopen their doors to the public.
In order for casinos to safely open to players once more, there were staunch restrictions put in place to ensure that the spread of the virus was limited.
The restrictions included:
- Keeping empty seats between players at tables and at slot machines.
- No standing bets are allowed at table games.
- All staff and customers are required to wear face masks.
These restrictions are currently in place until the 22nd of March 2020.
Will Macau recover?
As travel restrictions continue and fears about the virus rise, it’s hard to say how far or how wide the repercussions of this outbreak will reach.
The only way Macau will truly recover from this hard knock is by tourists being able to travel to the island once more.
Considering all of the current data available, experts believe that Macau will only begin to recover in the third quarter of the year.
IGamiX Management & Consulting’s Ben Lee commented saying:
“Assuming the epidemic peaks in the next two months, we might see a recovery in Q3/4. The underlying manufacturing sector in Guangdong province is fragile and will need to recover before we can start to see the players returning to play over more.”
With more than 89,000 cases of the coronavirus currently reported worldwide, the effects of this outbreak in the long-term still remain to be seen.