Macau Casinos Expected to Remain Closed Due to the Corona Virus
Gambling operators are set to reel on yet another slowdown in business as the shutdown of Macau casinos could be extended. On Feb. 4, officials in Macau ordered the casinos to temporarily close for a 15-day period due to the Corona Virus. However, this week, reliable reports showed that there is a “strong possibility” that the casinos could remain closed for longer.
Macau Casinos Shutdown
The shutdown force for the Macau casinos was supposed to go on until February 19. However, analysts with the Sanford C. Bernstein recently announced that the casinos could remain shut until health officials are confident that any potential threat of spreading the Corona Virus has been contained. It is reported that over 1 100 people from across the globe have died already from the virus. The good news, however, is that the rate of infection has begun to decline. Health officials at the briefing of the COVID-19 and the city on February 10 could not confirm whether or not Macau casinos will remain shut.
How the Corona Virus has Harshly Affected Gaming Revenue
Since the 15-day suspension began, the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the casinos has suffered tremendously. Analysts Kelsey Zhu, Eunice Lee and Vitaly Umansky reported that the GGR fell 75% from just February 1-4 when compared to last year. The revenue also decreased by 68% in comparison to last month and 69% lower compared to December.
Macau remains ghost town as visitation is still at a virtual standstill. The numbers to the region dropped by over 90% on January 27 and decreased by 30% compared to last year. The Public Security Police Force in Macau reported the lowest visitation figures of just 2 800 people in recorded history.
Last year, the gambling revenue in Macau declined for the first time since gambling operators got back on their feet in 2016. Now it could take a while for the casinos to coax people back after the Corona Virus crisis has passed.
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