Macau Casinos Shut Down Amid Intensifying COVID Wave

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For the first time in more than two years, Macau has taken the unprecedented step of closing all its casinos. The authorities are working hard to suppress the worst coronavirus epidemic they’ve seen to date in the region which happens to be the most prominent gambling center on the planet. Naturally, this has caused the stock prices of gaming companies to plummet.

People living in the area have been advised to remain inside their homes for a week, with the exception of making quick outings to get critical supplies. The city’s thirty-plus casinos and other non-essential enterprises will be closed during this time.

Hotels and other essential businesses, such as supermarkets, local markets, and restaurants, may continue to operate normally unless they are directly impacted by the public health emergency. On the other hand, restaurants are only taking orders for take-out and will not be open for customers to dine inside.

To ensure compliance, the government has said that the police would monitor the movement of individuals outdoors. Anyone who will defy the law will face severe consequences.

An Even Deeper Dive

Even though many casinos have been in effect closed for the previous three weeks with very few employees available, investor confidence has taken significant damage as a result of the more extreme measures. Gaming revenue may not begin to rebound until the third quarter or the fourth quarter, according to some experts.

There have been 1,500 cases of COVID-19 infections reported in Macau since the middle of June. Macau abides by China’s “zero-COVID” policy, which strives to eliminate all outbreaks, runs opposite to the worldwide trend of attempting to co-exist with the virus. To that effect, approximately 19,000 individuals are now under obligatory quarantine.

For the next five days, no one will be able to enter or leave any of the 30 high-risk zones in the city. Macau is essentially shut down, despite the government’s claim that it was not.

The manner in which the government is responding to the epidemic is becoming an increasingly contentious issue. Fights have broken out at testing centers while other locals have been forced to wait in line for more than 20 hours just to get access to healthcare facilities.

Throughout this week, residents will be asked to participate in mass COVID-19 tests on four separate occasions. Since the middle of June, they have already undergone testing a total of six times, and it is anticipated that they will continue to undergo daily rapid antigen testing.