Macau Casinos, the world’s biggest casino hub is all set to reopen to the public on Thursday after they secure permission from the Macau authorities to relaunch their gambling operations. But the casino operators have decided to reopen their casinos in phases until demands pick up. Macau casinos were shut down, following the government order of 2 weeks unprecedented closure to curb deadly coronavirus contamination.
Macau government said that relaunching the gambling operations would be at the discretion of the casino operators and that if the operators feel that they need more time to resume their operations, they can apply for an extra 30 days expansion until the public demand is enough to resume business.
Although whether any casino operator has already applied for this 30-day extension is not clear, the news of ‘phased opening’ has been confirmed by some of the largest gambling operators named Wynn Resorts that has 2 casinos in Macau, namely Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace Cotai, MGM China Holdings Ltd, and SJM Holdings Ltd. They said that they would not resume their business in full capacity until there is sufficient public demand. 5 out of 6 casinos in Macau said that they are planning to relaunch their operations by matching public demand and employee availabilities, despite the huge loss of revenue. Wynn resorts reported that they have lost up to $2.5m per day, owing to the cost of staffing, during the two weeks of shutdown.
Wynn Resorts’ spokesman Michael Weaver said in an interview, regarding the relaunch of the casinos after the coronavirus outbreak,
Macau officials have been appropriately thorough and judicious in their handling of the virus and we have confidence in their decision to permit Macau’s casinos to reopen. Beginning Thursday, we will open our casinos in a phased approach that matches guest demand and employee availability. We look forward to welcoming our employees and guests back to our resorts and will continue to be vigilant in our health and safety procedures.
But more than complying with the government’s notion to shutdown or reopen, the casinos must take preventive measures in order to check the further contamination of the virus. Like, only 50% of the gaming tables should be allowed to operate in a single area at a time, 2 gamblers seated at a table should have an empty chair between themselves, and no standing bets should be allowed. Likewise, there should be at least 1 machine placed, between 2 slots jockeys and not only the gamblers but everybody should keep wearing their face masks.
Broker at JP Morgan Securities said that though the relaunching of the gambling operations would provide some relief to the casino operators, it will have very little impact on the fundamentals. As such, the gross revenue is likely to decline by 80% on a yearly basis. This is because the business will likely slow down owing to the restrictions on transportations and visas because gamblers from China will be unwilling to travel at this crucial point of time.