Reopening of casinos in Macau. On Friday, February 21, the Macau casinos reopened after two weeks closed as a precaution and by order of the local authorities due to the coronavirus. The person responsible for announcing the reopening was Macau’s finance secretary, Lei Wai Nong at a press conference.
Macau casino closure due to coronavirus
The authorities have considered the closure necessary for half a month as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus, since to date ten cases had been detected. Of those affected, three are residents of the city, one of them a casino worker and seven visitors. On February 5, the Chinese authorities determined the closure of the casinos in Macau as a necessary precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Among the casinos that closed are Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp, two of the largest casinos in the area.
Reopening of casinos in Macau. It is the world center of gambling in the Asian country, as is Las Vegas in the United States. Currently and according to official data, gambling represents more than 50% of the economic activity of the autonomous region. And generates direct and indirect employment for a large part of the population.
The economic impact of the closing of the casinos during this period is still unknown, although the losses are expected to be millions of dollars. “It is a very difficult decision. We know that it will cause a lot of economic damage, but I believe that Macao can take that risk. We face a great challenge and we are capable of assuming these difficulties,” said Ho Iat-seng, head of the local government. And he added that “it will mean a deficit in our budget.”
Just two hours after the announcement of the closure of the casinos, two of the companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange had significant losses. On the one hand, Sands China shares fell 1.97% and on the other hand, Galaxy Entertainment fell 2.54%