Any Macau casino might be requested to suspend its operations if a new case of Covid-19 infection were detected in that particular venue, said a representative from the city’s Judiciary Police. The official was quoted in a Wednesday release from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, a body also known as DICJ, following a regular meeting with the city’s six casino operators.
Macau has not recorded any local cases of infection for more than four months, according to the government.
The confirmation of any case of Covid-19 in one of the city’s casinos “might imply the closure of said venue, which could have a significant impact on the economy,” said Luís Leong, head of the Judiciary Police’s gaming-related and economic crimes investigation unit.
Mr Leong also said that the city’s gaming operators should strictly follow the government-issued guidelines for anyone entering gaming venues in Macau
From July 15, “all people who intend to enter” the city’s casinos are required not only to have their body temperature measured and to display a health-declaration statement, but also to present a certificate of a “valid nucleic acid test” proving freedom from Covid-19.
An official from the city’s Health Bureau said in mid-August that Macau casinos would not necessarily be closed immediately if new cases of Covid-19 infection were detected elsewhere in the city.
At this week’s meeting, the DICJ representative also urged the gaming operators to step up what were termed epidemic-prevention efforts, ahead of an expected increase in customer numbers, as tourists from Guangdong province and the rest of mainland China start to return.
Guangdong residents beyond Zhuhai can since Wednesday (August 26) apply for Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) exit visas from the mainland, while IVS applications for residents of designated cities in the rest of China will restart on September 23. The IVS scheme and tour group visa scheme had been suspended in late January, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus linked to Covid-19.
Ben Lee, managing partner of IGamiX Management and Consulting Ltd, said in comments to GGRAsia, that investors and others should be cautious about relying on too-rapid a comeback of Macau gambling revenues.
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