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COVID-19: Macau extends casinos closure until July 22

Publish Date: 07/18/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Video: Macau Places SJM's Grand Lisboa Casino Under Lockdown

Macau Places SJM’s Grand Lisboa Casino Under Lockdown

Amidst mainland China’s zero-COVID policy, Macau had extended the city lockdown, including the closure of casinos for another week. The week of city lockdown or ‘static management’ started on June 11 when Macau recorded an outbreak with more than 1,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and it rose for three weeks.

The restriction was planned to end on Monday, but lately, the cases have continued to climb. Since the start of the outbreak, the Macau government said that on Sunday, there had been 1,733 infections recorded. Also, the government stated that they will follow the regulation issued by mainland China’s COVID-19 policy by extending the static management period through this Friday.

The lockdown will cause the casinos and non-important businesses to be operated by the business owner. This decision will be followed by a tight regulation that includes all residents staying at home except for shopping for daily needs or themselves getting tested for the virus. If there is any rule-breaker, they will get themself facing up to two years in jail.

For the record, Macau’s casino industry is given a total of 80 percent of government revenue and the government is heavily dependent on it, according to sources. Despite there being only six licensed casino operators in 2022, the industry effect is bigger than in Las Vegas with more than half of Macau’s GDP and getting one-fifth population employed.

Macau is also the only city in China that permits casinos to be run as a business. Furthermore, it is also a vital tourism destination, with strict regulations, including long quarantines, targeted lockdowns, and tight border control to forbid foreigners.

Also, with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, Macau had increased the tightness of city regulation as the campaign prohibited the gambler or corruptor to come for money laundering, while it was supported by another policy that the Macau employers are not obligated to pay all of the workers during the COVID-19 lockdown, including the casinos’ employees.

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