Macau – It has been reported within the last few hours that casino establishments in Macau are operating almost fifty-percent of their tables as the phased re-opening of venues continues following the coronavirus closure.
Although all but one venue has re-opened for business, the capacity at which casinos are operating at is less than fifty percent and strict measures remain in place to limit the chance of disease spreading.
Such measures include a density controlled gaming floor and cap on spectating patrons at each individual gaming table.
According to reports from the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, just over three-thousand tables are now in operation in Macau out of a approximate total of 6700.
There are currently thirty-nine gaming establishments in Macau and all but one; the Macau Jockey Club, has now resumed some business operation.
The Macau Jockey Club is a horse racing and betting entertainment venue located in Taipa. The organisation currently employs more than 1400 staff, making it one of the largest employers in the Special Administrative Region. The track has a grandstand seating area for fifteen-thousand spectators and Race Complex for three-thousand.
When establishments resumed operation, following the agreed closure to prevent coronavirus from spreading, the number of active gaming tables was around a quarter of the total. This figure has continued to rise over the last two weeks as more and more casinos look to resume as close to normal numbers as possible.
This is in part for firm’s to avoid the need to lay off staff either on a temporary or permanent basis.
Reportedly, the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau has written a series of letters to a number of casino operators emphasising the need to maintain ‘social responsibility’ as a priority and that ‘companies should make every effort to ensure the employment of employees and maintain a stable labour market’.
The need to resume business operations also comes as a recent assessment by University professors and economists predict that Macau could be facing catastrophic financial reports come the end of the year with an estimated deficit of around six billion dollars.
One professor at the University of Macau said:
“This kind of dramatic change due to unexpected emergency is not necessarily leading to a long-term drop in revenue. A temporary deficit is normal for any country suffering from some dramatic events. Around 35,000 SMEs, which account for more than ninety-five percent of the firms in Macau are very much related to the service industry, and thus have been suffering badly during this very difficult time.”