This month all the players or guests who want to visit Singapore casinos need to wear face masks as protection. This game as a request from Macau’s gaming operators as the new measure according to a statement by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ. The statement said that guests that do not comply with the latest measure would be asked to leave the gaming floor. Starting from a fortnight ago Macau casino workers have also been instructed by the local gaming regulator to wear protective face masks.
The measure is the latest in a growing list of moves aimed at preventing the spread of a newly-identified coronavirus. The Macau government announced fresh measures on the ongoing fight against the local incidence of the novel coronavirus.
Macau confirmed that a new case of novel coronavirus infection, taking to eight the tally of such cases recorded in the city. The new case involves a local resident but the infection has been classified as an imported case as the authorities suspect she had been infected while traveling in mainland China, according to a government press release.
China’s National Health Commission also reported that there were more than 17,200 confirmed cases within the country as a whole and that the national death toll stood t 361. Also, one latest one was the first confirmed fatality outside China, in the Philippines – a Chinese man from Wuhan, a city in the mainland’s Hubei province identified as the epicenter of the coronavirus.
Revenue at casinos declined due to virus
China’s coronavirus outbreak has emptied casinos in the world’s biggest gambling hub during their peak season, battering gaming companies’ shares and threatening revenues. Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) declined by 11.3 percent in January, the month that included the Chinese New Year holiday, according to official data. The decline coincided with the city’s government announcing on January 22 – just before the holiday – that Macau had recorded its first imported case of viral pneumonia.
More than $18bn has been wiped off the market value of the Macau operations of Las Vegas giants including Wynn, MGM and Sands since the start of the epidemic, which has killed more than 200 people in China and infected thousands more. Las Vegas Sands’ giant Venetian Macau casino was almost deserted as mask-wearing croupiers shuffled cards at vacant tables and a few gamblers dozed at slot machines.
Macau, a sleepy Portuguese colony before its return to China in 1999, is the only part of the country where casinos are legal. The industry exploded in the years after the handover — the territory surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenues in 2006 and now dwarfs its US rival. Chinese visitors normally account for about four-fifths of takings at Macau’s casinos, according to investment bank Bernstein. But the virus has prompted local authorities to ban most arrivals from the mainland. Official data show visitors from mainland China over the important lunar new year period at the end of January were down more than 90 per cent on the year before.
The public health alert – combined with local and national restrictions on inbound tourism to Macau, in order to halt the spread of sickness – coincided with a 78.3-percent fall in visitor arrivals to Macau during the Chinese New Year holiday period compared with the equivalent festival in 2019. Hong Kong-listed MGM China, Sands China, Wynn Macau and Galaxy Entertainment have all tumbled 15 to 25 per cent over the past two weeks as the coronavirus epidemic worsened. (with inputs from news sources)