Macau Quarantines MGM Casino

Macau Quarantines MGM Casino Ordering People to Stay Put

The Cotai casino in Macau was closed and people inside were told they won’t be able to leave until November 1 after a croupier tested positive for COVID-19. The Cotai casino is owned and operated by MGM China, part of MGM Resorts International Holdings, Ltd

MGM didn’t comment, but Macau’s authorities said that casino and hotel staff, as well as all guests, would be “quarantined in place immediately.”

The only people allowed to enter and exit the Cotai building were Macau government health workers. The number of people stuck at the locked-down casino couldn’t be verified at the time of writing.

Group Tours from Mainland China Could Be Cancelled Again

The Cotai dealer that tested positive for COVID-19 was the third COVID case in Macau in October, after the former Portuguese colony made it three full months without a single coronavirus infection.

With Chinese mainland tourists allowed to come back to Macau starting in November, these new COVID cases come at the worst time for Macau casinos. 

Gambling tourism from mainland China was a big source of revenue for Macau casinos. However, the last group of mainland tourists set foot in Macau two and a half years ago.

The resumption of group tours in November was expected to boost Macau casinos’ coffers, but the Cotai closure puts that in doubt.

The new COVID cases also mean that 700,000 Macau residents will now have to be tested for COVID. The rapid antigen testing will be conducted from October 30 to November 1.

Expiring Casino Licenses

China’s zero COVID policy has cost Macau’s gambling industry millions. This latest closure is an ominous sign of what the immediate future may hold for Macau’s casinos which already have a lot on their plate. 

The gambling licenses of all six Macau casino operators expire at the end of the year. Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment, SJM Holdings, Wynn Macau, Melco Resorts, and MGM China have all applied for license extensions

However, there are also other operators, such as Genting, which are trying to obtain a Macau license, so it is far from certain that all existing operators would continue to work in Macau. Reports say that Macau authorities may announce the six new license holders as early as this week.

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