Macau: Covid-19 outbreak infects more than 50% casino staff, operations affected

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As a result of a change in Macau’s Covid-19 prevention policy, allowing more tourists is having repercussions as the city is facing a major outbreak with the government estimating more than 100,000 people infected, as reported earlier this week.

The casinos also reported that majority of their working staff were infected which caused them to close several of the deal tables. The number of visitors is low with lesser tables operating.

An employee from Cotai casino said, “More than half of the staff in the casino tables department are infected, so the company can only arrange for those who are not infected to work, and they need to work as much as possible.”

“Even if all the non-infected staff were to work, the number of frontline staff would still be too small to cover the opening of all the gaming tables, so the company has to reduce the number of tables,” he added.

A person related to the Macau gaming industry said, in a statement to IAG, that the pace of opening up seemed to be a little too fast and beyond the expectations of businesses. “We can only hope for a real recovery in the second half of January, once the people of Macau have become accustomed to living with the virus,” he said further.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, despite the outbreak the casinos in Macau have been slowly recovering. The Macau government recently changed its Zero-Covid policy with a change in the Chinese Covid policy to allow more tourists and help the struggling casino operators.

The six operators recently had their licenses renewed by the government for the next 10 years and pledged to invest around $15 billion in the next 10 years, most of which is directed to the non-gaming sector.

A recent study from Morgan Stanley also suggested that the post-pandemic recovery process for Macau casino operators is going to be slow but the industry will cross GGR of $22 million by 2027 which will serve as a marker for the region’s recovery.