Gaming operations at Casino Taipa, located at the Regency Art Hotel (pictured in file photo) in Taipa, were still suspended as of Tuesday, even though Macau’s tourism bureau said on Monday it had handed back the hotel.
That was after the local government used the hotel for its emergency quarantine programme amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was one of the 12 local hotels – some with casino facilities – to have been used for that initiative.
The update on Casino Taipa was confirmed to GGRAsia in an email from the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, in response to our enquiry. Casino Taipa is operated under the gaming licence of SJM Holdings Ltd.
The casino regulator, known by the Portuguese-language acronym DICJ, told us: “SJM [Holdings] already applied for continuous suspension of Casino Taipa for deep cleaning and maintenance. The respective casino will resume operation after the above-mentioned work is finished.”
The gaming facility had been subject during February to a 15-day pause as part of a market-wide measure by the local authorities to control the coronavirus and its associated Covid-19 infection. Casino Taipa then reopened, but soon after it was announced gaming there was being paused again, starting on March 19, because the associated hotel was being used for Macau’s 14-day quarantine programme for people arriving in the city. The casino had to pause because the hotel and casino shared entrance space, the regulator had noted at the time.
DICJ did not clarify to us in its Tuesday update how long the cleaning of Casino Taipa would take nor when it might be able to resume business.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, told the city’s Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that the Macau government had spent MOP50 million (US$6.26 million) on using private-sector hotels for its quarantine programme.
Of the 12 hotels utilised, the only one at a large-scale casino resort has been the Sheraton Grand Macao hotel at Sands Cotai Central, a complex operated by Sands China Ltd.
As of Wednesday four of the 12 hotels – including Regency Art Hotel – were said by the government to have completed their stint as emergency quarantine space and been handed back to their respective managements by the tourism bureau. The others handed back were: the Metropole Hotel and San Tung Fong Commercial Inn South Wing in downtown Macau; and the Treasure Hotel in Taipa.
The other eight hotels that have been serving the quarantine programme include: Sheraton Grand Macao hotel; Pousada Marina Infante Hotel also on Cotai; Golden Crown China Hotel in Taipa; and Grand Coloane Resort in Coloane. The others are all on Macau peninsula: the hotel at the Jai Alai complex; Hotel Royal Dragon; the Grand Lapa Hotel; and the Grand Harbour Hotel in the city’s Inner Harbour district.
(Updated at 5.32pm, April 8)
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Partner and director overseeing government affairs at casino industry consultancy Global Market Advisors