Macau to close casinos for two weeks over coronavirus

Posted On 04 Feb, 2020 0

In breaking news coming out of Macau, it is learned at the Macau government has sent out a mandatory closure notice of all casinos for a minimum period of two weeks which could be extended depending on the seriousness of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Macau's Chief Executive Ho Lat Seng made this announcement at a press conference held earlier today saying this measure had to be taken to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus. This closure is applicable with immediate effect, in all likelihood in the next few hours, across all 41 of the territory's casinos. Ho also indicated that the closure period may go into months if required to contain the spread of this virus.

At the moment there are 10 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Macau with seven imported and three local cases of which one is a member of the Galaxy Macau Casino staff. Ho has called upon the casinos to keep their workers' welfare in mind and not lay them off or cut salaries during this health crisis. As expected the overflow of these measures will affect public services and the chief executive has advised the general public to stay indoors as much as possible during this time.

The Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, the capital city in Central China's Hubei province. The first reported cases started coming through in late December 2019 and as of this month, there are more than 20,000 cases worldwide on record. The virus is contagious and its symptoms include fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. While there is isn't a vaccine yet for it, if untreated, the Coronavirus can be fatal as well.

Macau used to be the hotspot for poker till not too long ago when the Chinese government decided to stop all forms of poker. The famed Red Dragon series used to be held here a few times every year and was one of the highlights of the Asian tournament calendar. Of course all forms of gaming will now be on hold as a result of this announcement from the Chief Executive.
Needless to say all of these developments have hit China and Macau hard. The Macau Gaming Bureau (DICJ) released information about a fall of 11.3 percent year-on-year in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in January. Things are only going to dip further as the full magnitude of the virus comes to light. One hopes that a cure or vaccine for the same will be created soon in order to combat the spread of this virus.

For the latest updates on the gaming industry and poker tournaments around the world, keep reading and stay tuned!

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