The pressure from the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the Macau casino industry. The gaming operators in the enclave are not requesting that all casino visitors must wear protective face masks.
The new measure comes from the guidance of the Macau gaming regulators. It came into effect on February 1 and had the full approval of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
The measure also includes the direction that casinos should ask all guests who do not comply to leave the same gaming floor.
Previously, Macau instituted a demand that all casino workers wear face masks. This measure is just the latest in a growing number of decisions that want to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Furthermore, the government of Macau said on Friday that these all should help with stopping the virus from spreading faster.
Over the weekend, Macau confirmed an additional case of the viral infection. Right now, the same infection outs the number of infected in the city to eight.
For all of them, the local government suspects that they became infected when they recently travelled to mainland China. This is welcome news for Macau as it shows that still no instances of local human to human transactions. In China, however, the data shows the extent of the transmission.
China’s National Health Commission is now placing the number of infected to over 17,200. The death toll is currently at over 360 with many more cases of infection inbound. On Sunday, the first fatality outside of Chinese territory occurred in the Philippines. In this case, however, the deceased individual was a Chinese man coming from Wuhan. The city in the Hubei province is the epicentre of this outbreak.
Macau Financial Toll
Unsurprisingly, the virus has a strong impact on the city’s financial success, especially when it comes to its casino industry. The gross gaming revenue fell by 11.3 per cent in January. This happened with the Chinese New Year Holiday, which is usually a great opportunity for boosting revenue. However, thanks to the numerous restrictions that the central government institute, the period was an abysmal failure.
The restriction left an imprint on not just the casino industry, but overall visitor numbers. That is why tourism seems to be struggling as much as the casino industry. Now, most operators are likely wondering how deep into the negative territory will the virus outbreak lead them.
Closing Casinos the Next Step?
The big question is if wearing a face mask will be enough to stop the virus. Ho Iat Seng, the Chief Executive of Macau, said early that is possible that casinos in Macau will have to close temporarily to contain the virus.
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