From the first moment the Chinese virus appeared in the international media, the casino insiders knew this was very troubling. This industry is one of those who get a heavy beating in the cases of the epidemic. This is even more true in the case of pandemics.
Now, the world seems to be on the precipice of a coronavirus pandemic and the casino industry is already hurting. Recently, there has been a big drop in its stock market value. This event impacted almost all operators. However, the shares of those casino operators with a big China presence took the most damage. During the pre-market trading that took place on Monday, Wynn Resorts lost about 9.1 percent of its value.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment are close with a 9.4 percent drop. Las Vegas Sands dropped by 7.9 percent and so far MGM Resorts International stood its ground the most. This operator saw its stock price drop by 5.3 percent. This sell-off is far bigger than any weakness in the wider stock market, which stands at about 1.6 percent loss. The drop in value certainly kicked most of the top casino management in panic mode, if they were not there already.
The situation is especially worrying in Macau. This Chinese enclave already got its first cases. The government reacted so far preventively, dropping any Lunar New Year Celebrations. Most casinos followed suit. The results of these measures are still unclear, but the top officials were clear – closure of casinos is a measure they will not shy from.
Coronavirus pushes Further
The virus originated in Wuhan but it quickly began spreading. Now, the city of 9 million is under quarantine but this means little at this point beyond helping the local population. Otherwise, the virus is well on its way around the globe. What further complicates the situation is the fact that the carrier individuals might not show any symptoms.
This silent means of transmission is undetectable at transit hubs. The good news is that so far, there are no indicators that the virus brings any different mortality rates than the seasonal flu. Currently, its death toll stands at about 80 individuals. All of these were either chronically ill individuals or senior citizens.
In fact, many experts show the possibility of a scenario similar to SARS or the avian flu of the early 2010s. That would make it a nuisance and a potential danger for those who are already in poor health. For the rest, however, it would be no different than catching – or missing – the seasonal flu infection.
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