COVID-19 Conditions Improve in Macau


As COVID-19 conditions improve in Macau, government officials are now considering how to reopen the gaming industry to more people.

Large gaming areas around the world, like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Macau have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the virus hit, such regions were shut down for quite some time due to the need for social distancing as well as other factors. Las Vegas and Macau were hit hard due to the areas need for tourism. Both regions rely on players traveling in by plane to take advantage of gambling, hotel stays, and other entertainment. As Las Vegas and Atlantic City got back into the swing of things months ago, Macau has still been heavily restricted. Travel is limited due to potential COVID-19 cases, and this has slowed revenues considerably.

Thankfully, it seems that case numbers are finally dropping. Local government officials are now ready to reschedule public consultation sessions involving the gaming industry. Once these sessions take place, we should see just how the region is ready to open back up to additional travelers.

Discussing the Options

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) canceled three sessions that were supposed to take place just a few days ago. The first was set for late September while the other two were to take place in early October.

New local infections shut down the first two while last weeks had to be canceled due to a typhoon. To check the status of the region, the Chinese Special Administrative Region hosted a COVID-19 testing session of all residents. All tests were negative. Because of this, the region is calling off its prevention status.

The gaming hearings can now take place this week and hopefully Macau will be ready to receive new visitors shortly. It is expected that the border restrictions will be less restrictive which will allow people from other areas to come visit.

Starting October 19, nearby Zhuhai is allowing travelers from Macau to no longer quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine removal will allow visitors from the nearby region to visit Macau like they did before. The restrictions have already harmed revenues considerably including the cancellation of Golden Week, a busy time of year for the area’s casinos.

During the celebration, just over 8,000 people came to visit. This is quite low when you consider the 2019 totals were almost one million people.

Gaming Industry Changes

Next summer, the six commercial gaming operators in Macau are set to lose their casino licensing. The region’s regulators are looking to improve the regulatory environment before issuing new licenses. To complete this task, the government will seek input from the public. As a critical business sector of Macau, the region needs to offer such entertainment to generate taxes from revenues. With the input, the government will figure out the best way for the industry to move forward.

Officials are wasting no time in setting dates for the sessions with the public. There will be a session each day from October 22 through 25. Each day will offer two sessions so that interested parties can be accommodated and continue with social distancing needs.

For now, it will be interesting to see what the sessions provide by way of information and potential changes. Will Macau be able to welcome visitors from areas that have been cut off due to COVID-19? Even if officials decide to allow more travelers in, there is no doubt that restrictions will be in place.

The area has been very careful when it comes to the virus and they will continue to be willing to shut down or close off borders in order to keep residents safe.

Lead Writer: Toby is a very experienced online gambler who particularly enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and guiding them toward more enjoyment in their own play.