Macau Casinos Reopen to Somber Scene • This Week in Gambling
Macau casinos did reopen over the weekend, but there were no players beating down the doors. In fact, with the exception of those who work and live there, almost no one is visiting the city built for gambling. Travel restrictions from the Chinese government have the city on lock down.
All of this comes from the latest (and greatest) outbreak of Coronavirus in the country. Beijing has a “zero Covid” policy in place, meaning that restrictions are harsh, and punishments for violating them are serious. Is it any wonder that the city is void of visitors?
Even though Macau casinos are up and running, the financial forecast remains bleak at best. The travel restrictions have been in place for several months, and will stay in place for at least a few more. And many industry analysts don’t believe the city will see positive cash flow until at least the fall.
In the meantime, gambling operators in the city spend millions every day just to keep the doors open. Along with hundreds of local businesses, Macau casinos are operating with 50% of their usual staff. No one is allowed to eat at indoor restaurants, public transportation is limited, and bars, nightclubs, and most shopping malls also remain shuttered.
All of this as Macau casinos profits are already down nearly 50% for the year, which means that the difficult times are far from over. And complicating the issues even more is the fact that it’s time to renew gambling licenses, and taxes on gaming revenue just went up.