Macau Casinos Forced to Close Due to Covid-19

Macau has been forced to close all of its casinos for the first time in more than two years due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the region.

Authorities have ordered all non-essential businesses to close for a week, including more than 30 casinos. The policy is the result of more than 1,526 coronavirus cases being detected since mid-June.

Macau now has around 19,000 people in quarantine in what is the city’s worst outbreak of the virus since early 2020. Schools and entertainment venues, such as bars and cinemas, have also been forced to close.

People are allowed to make short trips for essential services. However, the police will be carefully monitoring the movement of people outside, and it is expected that there will be strict punishments for those who do not follow the guidelines.

A statement released by Macau’s Government Information Bureau ordered all businesses to stop operations unless they were essential.

All industries and commercial companies and venues in Macao will be required to suspend operation from after the stroke of midnight on 11 July until the stroke of midnight on 18 July 2022 inclusive, except those in three categories of activity deemed essential to the community and to the day-to-day lives of the members of the public.

Macau Government Information Bureau

The announcement has already led to a fall in gaming shares. Sands China shares have dropped by 9%, while shares in Melco International, Wynn Macau, SJM, Galaxy, and MGM China have all fallen by between 6% and 7%.

As a result of the closure, some analysts are predicting that gaming revenue may not fully recover until the end of Q3 2022 or even the end of the year. However, this is an improvement on previous revenue predictions, stating that it would not recover until 2025.

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