Coronavirus outbreak: Big blow for Macau’s casinos! Tourist arrivals from China dip to 80 per cent

FE Online
China coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak china, wuhan virus, Macau casino industry, gambling industry, Lunar new year, tourism, tourist arrivals china, travel ban china

China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has dealt a big blow to casino operators in the world’s largest gambling hub. In Macau alone, there are six confirmed cases of the coronavirus outbreak. However, Macau’s leader has issued a statement that closing all casinos in the city cannot be ruled out, as per a report by Radio Television Hong Kong.

Border controls have been imposed in Macau along with temperature checks. Residents have been advised to not go to cinemas, any events in closed spaces and all Chinese New Year festivities have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, school holidays have been extended by Macau officials until February 10 to curb the spread of the Wuhan virus.

Data from the city’s tourism office shows that the number of mainland Chinese travelers to Macau fell by a whopping 80 per cent on 26th January as compared with last Lunar New Year in 2019. The data also indicates that during the first three days of the holidays, the arrivals were pegged downwards at 66 per cent.
The downward trend comes as a severe blow for the gambling and casino industry, given that the last time they had suffered such a setback was way back in 2015. Clearly, the outlook for the coming days is unlikely to indicate any further improvement as China has curbed non-essential travel for citizens.

Further, the increasing number of Coronavirus cases being reported amidst the growing death toll does not accommodate any room for optimism yet.

So far, China’s novel coronavirus has reportedly caused the death of at least 80 people in mainland China, as per reports.

In Macau, for instance, emergency measures have been set up in health centers as well as hospitals to check the spread of the epidemic.

The key concern for Chinese health officials is that the virus is spreading fast. There is considerable concern that the severity of the coronavirus outbreak had been underplayed, as it had been done during the SARs outbreak.

More than 2700 confirmed cases have also been reported in China.