Coronavirus: Las Vegas of China casinos told when they can reopen

Coronavirus shut Macao casinos on Feb. 4

Casino operators in Macao, the world’s biggest gaming enclave, will be allowed to resume operations on Thursday, following 15 days of closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The decision not to extend the closures was announced by Lei Wai-nong, secretary for economy and finance, according to the South China Morning Post.

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Casino operators have 30 days to get their businesses back up to full speed. Anyone who enters the casinos will be required to wear a mask and have their temperature checked.

The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has sickened at least 71,000 people globally and killed 1,770. About 60 million people have been under lockdown in an effort to prevent the spreading of the virus.

Macao, the only area in China that allows gambling, receives about 76 percent of its revenue from the industry. Gross gaming revenue for 2019 was 292.5 billion patacas ($36.6 billion), according to the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau.

By comparison, Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas, raked in $10.36 billion in 2019, Nevada Gaming Control Board data showed.

Shares of Macao casino operators have gained slightly since their closure on Feb. 4. MGM Resorts International is up 1 percent while Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands have added 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

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However, MGM shares have slumped 8.7 percent since the coronavirus was first reported to have spread outside of China on Jan. 20. Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts have slumped 8 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively.