Macau to close non-gaming entertainment sites amid new Covid-19 cases

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Macau has ordered a variety of entertainment venues to close from tomorrow (6 October), though casinos will stay open, as the region deals with a new cluster of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases.

The special administrative region’s Novel Coronavirus Infection Response Coordination Center announced the update today (5 October). 

Under the new rules, electronic video game rooms will be closed, as will bars, dance halls and nightclubs. Cinemas, theaters, indoor playgrounds, internet cafes, gyms and karaoke venues were among the other venues that will have to close, including such sites within casino resorts.

The Macau government did not announce a planned reopening date. However, gaming floors in casinos will be permitted to stay open.

The closures come in response to a new cluster of Covid-19 cases in Macau. A total of nine positive cases have been reported during the past week, as the region celebrates Golden Week.

In addition to closing various entertainment venues, Macau’s government cancelled a meeting in which stakeholders could provide responses to its consultation on numerous changes to the Macau casino sector.

The consultation document proposed cutting the number of licences issued, and suggests introducing government representatives to licensees.

In order to control the spread of the virus, Macau will also introduce citywide testing.

“All local residents and people staying in Macau, including those who have undergone sampling in the 24 hours preceding the commencement of this testing campaign, are required to get tested,” the government said.

In August, Macau casino operators brought in combined revenue of MOP5.88bn (£538.1m/€631.7m/$732.9m), up significantly from August 2020’s MOP2.21bn figure. However, this was still the second-lowest monthly total for 2021 to date, after July’s MOP4.44bn total and was down 76.1% from 2019.

Subscribe to the ICE365 newsletter