At a time when the number of new Covid-19 cases is still rising in Macau, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) addressed casino operators and asked them to reduce the number of their gaming floor staff and enhance coronavirus testing and protection procedures.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau issued a statement on June 26th, turning to casino companies and asking them to take into account the growing number of Covid-19 cases. According to information provided by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center, at the end of last week, the new coronavirus cases in Macau rose to 299, in comparison to 170 on June 24th.
The DICJ reminded gambling operators that they are expected to strictly implement all epidemic prevention guidelines issued by the local Health Bureau and enact a range of epidemic prevention measures, including body temperature check-ups, thorough cleaning and disinfection in the casino venues, and reducing the casinos’ gaming floor personnel. The regulatory body also noted that everyone at the gambling operators’ venues is supposed to wear masks and maintain social distancing as part of the Covid-19 prevention measures.
As CasinoGamesPro already reported, the increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in Macau started in mid-June. The local authorities took immediate measures to tackle the spreading of the infection by ordering mass testing as part of the country’s “zero-Covid” policy. Government services, banks, schools, and many other businesses, except for casinos, in the Special Administrative Region of Macau were forced to temporarily cease operations as part of the measures.
Macau Casinos Remain Open but GGR Likely to Plummet, Analysts Note
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, Macau casinos remained open despite the closures of other businesses, organizations and governmental offices around the SAR but the number of people willing to play has been greatly reduced. As a result, market analysts have shared expectations that the gross gaming revenue in the industry is very likely to plummet in the month. Markets also reacted to the Covid-19 restrictions, as some investors chose to dump casino stock, which, in its turn, resulted in a massive decline in Macau concessionaires’ share value.
The stricter measures aimed at tackling the further spreading of the infection will make all Macau casino employees subjected to a mandatory rapid antigen test before the beginning of every shift. They also have to take a nucleic acid test every 48 hours. As of the beginning of the week – June 27th – the residents of Macau are also facing another round of obligatory nucleic acid testing, which is the third one within a week.
In its statement, the DICJ explained that it will continue to enhance the epidemic prevention inspections in local casinos and urged gambling companies operating in Macau to take strict coronavirus prevention measures in addition to the regular and special checks that are set to ensure the health and safety of their employees and visitors. Apart from the mass testing in the Special Administrative Region, the Health Bureau in Macau unveiled various restrictions under which local residents were encouraged to stay at home, and, on June 26th, 9 zones across the city were placed under full lockdown.
For the time being, there are 13 red-coded areas, while another 51 have had a yellow code installed. According to the latest information unveiled by Leong Lek Hou, the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Macau, the number of confirmed cases rose by 100 in a single day. The latest data suggested that the number of active Covid-19 cases is still on the rise in the Special Administrative Region.