After the Wuhan coronavirus caused all of Macau’s casinos to close, the gambling industry lost a huge amount of money in the following weeks. But now that the casinos have reopened, the only thing they need now is actual gamblers. At the reopening of the casinos, most people on the scene were casino staff and journalists – all wearing medical masks.

More Tables Than Players

As the clock struck midnight on the eve of the end of the 15-day closure of Macau’s casinos, a small crowd gathered around the Grand Lisboa casino. When the doors swung open, nobody appeared to be in a hurry to rush inside and gamble. Basic precautions were underway as door staff with medical masks screened people who entered for signs of fever.

As it happened, most of the crowd was made up of international journalists, casino staff, and a group of inspectors from the gaming regulator. The crowd slowly made its way into the casino, where it was plain to see that the gaming tables outnumbered the gamblers by at least 10 to 1. The massive empty gaming floors in the reopened Macau casinos were matched by the empty hotel rooms and restaurant tables.

The Covid-19 coronavirus has killed more than 2,000 people and infected nearly 75,000, most of whom are in China. Since Macau’s gambling business is 90% Chinese gambling tourists, and most flights to and from China were cancelled, it’s no wonder there’s no thunder.

Only one-third of Macau casinos chose to reopen after the mandatory closure imposed by the government. Others chose to remain closed until the virus has been fully contained. Under the Macau government’s heath and safety laws, the casinos had to be shut down for a minimum of 15 days after two cases of the coronavirus were reported in Macau. Before the closure, all casinos underwent thorough screening precautions to combat the virus, including temperature checks of all patrons at the door. Medical masks were required for all staff and customers.

However, the epidemic began to go global, so the casino doors slammed shut and planes from China were grounded. Still, the epidemic is far from over, as several dozen cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus were reported around the world. The downward spiral of the Macau economy prompted experts to recommend online gambling in Macau. Gambling on your own smart device from home is always the safest bet.

But fears of a global pandemic loom large, and nobody in Macau can maintain a gambling mood while surrounded by people in medical masks armed with fever guns.


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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.