The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) met with operators to discuss the measures they must take to prevent the spread Coronavirus.

Macau.- The Government of Macau announced yesterday that the city’s 41 casinos can re-open from midnight on 20 February, but has imposed regulations and restrictions that operators must meet.

The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) met with representatives of all six gaming operators on Tuesday and talked through the restrictions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Besides wearing face masks and undertaking temperature checks on staff and visitors, the DICJ is also requesting that gaming tables be placed a safe distance apart.

Guests must also leave a space between one another when sat at a gaming table and similar rules will be applied to slot machines, with visitors leaving an empty machine between one another.

Other measures have been put in place for casino staff. Workers have to sit separately and during breaks must disperse and not stay in a confined space.

Gaming operators have cleaned and disinfected all gaming areas and facilities during the closure period and must continue to do this, according to the DICJ measures.

Macau will take time to recover, analysts say

Nomura analyst says sector will only return to normal when which resumes issuing individual visit schemes.

Macau.- While the reopening of Macau’s casinos tomorrow is welcome news for the sector, analysts are predicting it will take some time for the industry to fully recover.

According to Nomura Instinet analyst, Harry Curtis , the real breakthrough will come when China resumes its individual visit schemes (IVS).

“The consensus among local operators we connected with over the weekend is that there will be little material improvement in visitation, GGR and EBITDA until the IVS and tour group customers are permitted to cross the border, which may not normalize for another six weeks,” Curtis said.

“The reopening is akin to keeping a body alive without the food required to sustain it”, he warned.

In his opinion, reopening casinos is likely driven by the government’s concerns about the actions that operators may take. If the shutdown lasts for longer than 30 days, the operators have a legal basis to furlough workers.

“In our view, the government(s) will reopen the IVS and tour systems gradually and regionally once no new cases have been identified.”

Operators have already warned of significant daily losses as a result of the shutdown, with Wynn Macau disclosing a daily operating loss of $2.5 million, or $75 million a month, while MGM disclosed a daily loss of $1.5 million.

Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, said the decision to reopen casinos had been made following an extensive assessment of risks.

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