weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Business slow as Macao casinos open after COVID-19 shutdown

Updated July 23, 2022 - 9:17 pm

Without tourists, business was slow as Maca0 casinos reopened Saturday after a nearly two-week shutdown in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Chinese-controlled territory is trying to cope with the effects of Beijing’s “Covid Zero” policy.

It’s likely Macao’s 41 casinos won’t open many tables because of a lack of customers, Stephen Lau, president of the Power of the Macao Gaming Association, told Bloomberg.

Macao reported five cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, compared with 146 cases at the peak of the outbreak.

Analysts have estimated the closures will cause the casinos to lose $1 billion. The government said it intends to distribute $1.24 billion to businesses affected by the shutdown.

Casinos and other businesses must limit staff numbers to 50 percent of normal. Activities that require the removal of masks for extended periods of time, such as eating, must not be done indoors unless there’s a separate room for each person. Dining-in at restaurants remains banned.

Public transport resumed, with passenger capacity capped at 60 percent. Bars, cinemas, nightclubs and malls, except street-level shops, will stay shut. The initial phase of resumption goes through July 29.

“We won’t be seeing any tourists,” Lau told Bloomberg. “At the rate things are going, tourists may not come back until mid- or late-August.”

Three Las Vegas companies with holdings in Macao — market leader Sands, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Resorts International, which has a partnership with a Hong Kong-based operator — have declined to comment on the effects of the lockdown.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Las Vegas resorts go big for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year started Sunday, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, but Southern Nevada’s hospitality industry kicked off the celebrations last week for visitors.