Buses drive across a bridge from Macau on Feb. 5, the day after casinos were ordered to close. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
More than two dozen casinos in Macau, shuttered for two weeks by the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19), have been okayed by the government to reopen at the stroke of midnight on Thursday.
“Macau officials have been appropriately thorough and judicious in their handling of the virus and we have confidence in their decision to permit Macau’s casinos to reopen,” Wynn Las Vegas spokesman Michael Weaver said in a statement. “Beginning Thursday, we will open our casinos in a phased approach that matches guest demand and employee availability. We look forward to welcoming our employees and guests back to our resorts and will continue to be vigilant in our health and safety procedures.”
The company operates two casinos in the gaming mecca — Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace Cotai.
Macau’s casinos closed two weeks ago in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19. Two of the ten confirmed cases in Macau were among hotel employees. No new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Macau since Feb. 4, the day before casinos were ordered to close. Five of the ten patients in Macau have recovered, according to the government.
Customers will be required to wear a mask and have their temperature checked before entering, according to a news release from Macau’s Secretary of Economy and Finance, Mr. Lei Wai Nong.
Additionally, the distance between gaming tables will be adjusted.
Macau’s casinos employ 56,000 people, according to the government. That’s about eight percent of the population.
Casinos in Singapore have remained in operation throughout the epidemic. The country reports 77 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Twenty-four patients have recovered and no deaths have been reported.
Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International did not respond to requests for comment regarding their plans to reopen.
MGM, which operates two casinos in Macau, reported last week that it’s losing $1.5 million each day the resorts are closed.
Macau generated about 27 percent of the company’s revenue last year, according to financial reports.
MGM, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts stock prices closed Monday virtually unchanged from their values two weeks ago when the Macau government ordered casinos to close.
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