Macau gaming could start slow due to pneumonia

The Macau gaming industry may get hurt by a pneumonia outbreak in China.
The Macau gaming industry may get hurt by a pneumonia outbreak in China.

A pneumonia outbreak has hit Wuhan, central China, putting the Macau gaming industry on alert for a potentially slow start to the year.

Macau.- The Chinese territory of Macau had a tough 2019 and 2020 looks set for a slow start, too. According to the authorities, a viral pneumonia outbreak could endanger the city, even though it is hundreds of kilometres away from where the outbreak has occurred.

The outbreak was reported in the metropolis of Wuhan, in central mainland China. However, Macau has direct air services to and from the region, which may hurt the gaming industry as the threat of an epidemic continues to rise.

Worst of all, the World Health Organisation has yet to identify the cause of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak.

“No evidence of significant human-to-human transmission and no health care worker infections have been reported,” the WHO has stated.

The Macau Health Bureau has asked casinos to install body temperature-screening equipment at their properties. However, there’s no further news on which venues have complied with the request to prevent the outbreak from expanding further.

Macau gaming in 2019

2019 wasn’t the best year for the largest Asian gaming hub. According to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ), Macau GGR dropped 3.4% last year.

The body showed full-year GGR in the territory reached €32.7 billion, less than 2018’s figures. The result follows a major 13.7% year-on-year drop in December which was attributed to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit. 

Fitch Ratings’ assessment

Fitch Ratings has changed its rating for Macau and downgraded it from “Stable” to “Negative”. The agency said that the downgrade is due an increased exposure to mainland China.

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