Macau Silent On Further Suspension of Casino Operations Over Coronavirus
Macau Special Administrative Region suspended all gambling operations due to the threat of the coronavirus. The authorities in Macau have stated that it still remains an open question what they will do once the 15-day suspension of casino operations they mandated ends on Feb. 20.
Currently, Macau officials state that they are considering all possibilities as they monitor the latest news regarding the coronavirus in both Macau and mainland China.
Ho Iat Seng, the Chief Executive of Macau, ordered the suspension of all casino operations in Macau last week—including VIP Clubs, slot parlors, and other businesses with gaming aspects. The suspension came into effect from midnight on Feb. 5 and will stay in place until Feb. 20 to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
The suspension appears to have worked, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Macau has remained at 10, according to officials from their Health Bureau (SS). Now, whether casinos will be allowed to re-open on Feb. 20 remains to be seen, as Macau officials state they need more data as they consider their course of action.
The Director of the SS, Lei Chin Ion, stated that the end of any epidemic is difficult to ascertain—a six day lull in new coronavirus cases might not mean much in the long run. Neighbouring cities have found at least five cases of new coronavirus patients who visited Macau hotels and casinos before they tested positive.
Two patients from Hong Kong visited Galaxy Macau and Oceanus, and a shuttle bus driver from the Chong Ou Travel Agency contracted the disease after staying in Hong Kong. Two patients from Zhuhai and one patient from Taiwan were also found to have visited a number of Macau casinos and hotels before being identified as coronavirus patients.
Gambling Firms Donate to Help Stop Coronavirus
Six gambling firms operating in Macau have donated around $25 million to finance initiatives quelling the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed 910 lives so far—exceeding the death toll reached by the SARS epidemic of 2003. The virus has now infected more than 40,000 people around the world.
Macau’s tourist numbers have been drastically lowered by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, as well as the closure of its gambling industry. On Sunday, 3,000 tourists entered the country, compared to roughly 12,000 the day before the casino suspensions, Feb. 4. Last year, Macau hosted 39.4 million tourists, which is an average of 108,000 tourists each day.
With the spread of the coronavirus being a concern to many casino enthusiasts why not try online casinos instead, all from the comfort of your own home and less like to get infected.