Casino operations at City of Dreams (CoD) Macau (pictured) and at the Studio City complex will reopen on Thursday, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd confirmed to GGRAsia in a Wednesday message. The company however could not provide a date for when gaming operations at its Altira Macau casino hotel in Taipa would relaunch.
Melco Resorts’ Mocha Clubs – a network of slots-only venues – are also to reopen on Thursday, the gaming operator told GGRAsia. The company did not clarify if all existing clubs would reopen on that day. The Mocha Clubs brand features a total of eight clubs in Macau, three of which are linked to casino properties.
The reopening of the firm’s gaming venues at its Cotai-based City of Dreams Macau and Studio City properties follows a 15-day suspension of all casino business in the city as part of local containment efforts regarding the novel coronavirus Covid-19.
The closure period expires just before the stroke of midnight on Wednesday.
The Macau government had announced on Monday it would not seek an extension of the market-wide closures, but would give the option for the city’s six licensees to ask to keep venues shuttered for up to a further 30 days.
As of Tuesday, five of Macau’s six casino operators had confirmed to GGRAsia that they would adopt phased reopenings of their respective gaming venues, but the details provided were scarce. The companies said normal operations would resume as “guest demand” picks up.
The local regulator said on Tuesday that all reopenings would involve special arrangements regarding density of seating for customers at gaming tables and a minimum space being required between operational tables. Those measures were understood to relate to reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission of Covid-19. Taken together, they amounted to a scenario where each venue’s operational gaming capacity would be more than halved until further notice.
Hotels at casino resorts were not included in the original shutdown order, but some casino operators had chosen to shutter some of their hotels for operational reasons, with occupancy levels said to have plummeted coinciding with the casino shutdowns and a temporary ban on exit visas for residents of mainland China to visit Macau. The hotel at Altira Macau has been temporarily closed since February 10 “until further notice in order to curb the spread of the new strain of coronavirus,” according to the property’s official website.
As of Wednesday lunchtime, City of Dreams Macau and Studio City still had notices posted on their respective websites offering to reschedule or offer a no-penalty refund on any booking for their hotels from now until February 29 inclusive.
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"The casinos have to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The decision [to suspend casino operations] is up to the government. As of now, we don’t have any plan to change the existing regulations"
Lei Wai Nong
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance