Macao casinos to reopen this week after being shuttered amid coronavirus outbreak

Casinos at the world’s biggest gambling hub have been shuttered since Feb. 5.

Catherine Thorbecke

February 17, 2020, 4:04 PM

4 min read

Dozens of casinos in Macao, the world’s biggest gambling hub, are expected to reopen on Thursday.

Li Weinong, the secretary for economic affairs and finance in the Chinese territory, announced that the temporary government-mandated closure would be lifted on Feb. 20, according to TDM, Macao’s public broadcaster.

There have been 10 confirmed coronavirus cases in Macao. As of Monday, there have been 70,548 reports of confirmed cases and 1,770 deaths on the Chinese mainland, according to China’s National Health Commission.

The casinos have been shuttered since Feb. 5 after officials confirmed a number of coronavirus cases in Macao and neighboring Hong Kong.

Their closure affected some American businesses, particularly casino operators Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sand Corps.

Wynn Resorts revealed it is losing between $2.4 million and $2.6 million a day for every day its casinos in Macau are closed, largely due to payroll expenses for its 12,200 employees, CEO Matt Maddox said in an earnings call in early February.

Las Vegas Sands Corp owns and operates the largest casino in the territory, The Venetian Macao, as well as a handful of other resorts including the Plaza, Four Seasons Macao and The Parisian Macao. The company said in its fourth quarter earnings report that the coronavirus outbreak could potentially harm operations in the region.

Wynn Resorts gets as much as 75% of its revenue from its Macao operations and Las Vegas Sands Corp. gets as much as 60%, according to Bloomberg.

ABC News