The casino revenue figures in Macau decreased by 11.3% in January as coronavirus continues to spread.
Macau.- As Macau considers shutting down its casinos to prevent a bigger spread of the coronavirus that has hit China, the facilities have already suffered the consequences of this disease. In January, facilities in Macau registered an 11.3% setback in revenues to US$2.76 billion.
The US$2.76 billion figure that was registered last month was actually worse than what analysts had expected during the first week of January, just when the virus was starting to spread. However, they were also lower than other estimations that had been made before the implementation of visitor restrictions during the last week of January.
Japanese brokerage Nomura recently said that it expected daily GGR in January and February to improve when compared to the same period in 2019. January’s results, while underwhelming, are expected to be higher than this one’s.
Casinos may shut down
According to the government, Macau is even considering ordering its casinos to shut down as a safety measure. Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng advanced such possibility as he calls for a multi-stage plan to tackle disease control.
“When Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome hit Macau 17 years ago, we were lucky enough to record only one imported case. But now, the viral pneumonia coincides with the peak domestic travel season for Chinese New Year across China,” he said. “That huge passenger traffic means the disease could be spread to each of the Chinese provinces.”
Macau casinos have only shut down once in recent years; it was in September 2018, when Typhoon Mangkhut struck the city.