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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Macau to reopen after COVID reduces gaming revenue to lowest-ever

Macau to reopen after COVID reduces gaming revenue to lowest-ever

Publish Date: 08/02/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

In July, Macau’s casinos experienced their worst month ever, with gaming revenue falling to a record low as the city cautiously eases COVID-19 prohibitions. The majority of coronavirus restrictions will now be lifted on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

According to Bloomberg, Macau’s gross gaming revenue fell 95 percent to 398 million patacas ($49 million), the lowest since records began in 2009. This is better than the 97 percent drop predicted by analysts, but it is still 98 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

In July, Macau’s casinos were ordered to close for ten days as part of a three-week “static management” period modeled after the COVID-19 lockdowns in mainland China.

Authorities said Tuesday that the former Portuguese colony will reopen public services and entertainment facilities as well as allow dine-in at restaurants, as the world’s largest gambling hub seeks a return to normalcy.

However, residents will be required to wear masks when going out and must show a negative coronavirus test within three days to enter most venues.

More than 90% of Macao citizens are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but authorities have strictly followed to China’s zero-Covid mandate, which aims to comprise all outbreaks at any cost, in contrast to the rest of the world, which is already infected with the virus.

“You are stuck in this zero-Covid situation where it’s unclear when the government’s actually going to do anything about it,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Vitaly Umansky said to Bloomberg.

Macau has reported approximately 1,800 infections since mid-June when it was hit by its most severe coronavirus outbreak, which forced the closure of casinos and shut down most of the city.

Following a legal reform that reduced concession periods from 20 to 10, as well as increased local ownership and government oversight, the city recently began the bidding process for six gaming licenses including Sands China, Wynn Macau, MGM China, Galaxy Entertainment, SJM Holdings, and Melco Resorts. Their licenses will be up for renewal at the end of the year.

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