Is The Coronavirus Threat Over? Macau Reopens Casino Doors For All China Gamblers

Article by : Helen Jul 21, 2020

According to representatives of Guangdong province, the mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors to Macau will be canceled within a week. This is primarily due to the weakening of the adopted restrictive measures introduced in the fight against coronavirus in the region.

General quarantine measures were lifted starting July 15. Despite this, the remaining 9 cities that are located in Guangdong province still remain under strict control and are required to clearly implement all quarantine measures.

Also, guests of one of the most popular gaming regions in China must meet individual requirements, namely:

  • Do not travel outside the country within 14 days before arriving in Guangdong.
  • Sign a compulsory declaration of good health.
  • Get negative coronavirus test results within 7 days.
  • Sign up for a local mobile app created by health authorities. They will also need to send daily reports on their health status for 14 days.
  • Visitors to the region are also not allowed to leave these 9 cities without official permission from local authorities.
  • Visitors to gambling establishments and staff are now required to wear protective masks. Upon entry, all guests have their body temperature checked. However, the halls are almost empty as the flow of tourists to Macau has recently decreased by 98%.

Perhaps for some, such restrictions and norms seem too harsh. However, this was done for a reason. The thing is that Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center has made a decision to further weaken the restrictions associated with the fight against coronavirus. However, this applies exclusively to residents of mainland China. In other words, urban residents on mainland China no longer need to be quarantined for 14 days while visiting the administrative region.

In order to reduce the risk and number of diseases, all visitors to land-based casinos will be required to undergo temperature checks and provide certificates of negative results when passing a test for Covid-19. Local authorities also obliged the gambling houses to provide a constant circulation of fresh air in all rooms. This requirement also applies to resorts, hotels, and apartments where visitors to gambling houses may stay.

Easing restrictions could be an excellent boost for the Macau casino industry.

Macau Officials

Obviously, during the quarantine period, this industry was very hard hit due to an instant decrease in the flow of visitors and various restrictions on travel within China.

From the first half of the year and up to June 30, casino revenue decreased by 77.4%, which in monetary terms amounted to about $33.72 billion. Meanwhile, on an annualized basis, the total income of gambling establishments may decrease by 54.5% – 60.0%, according to the University of Macau’s Center for Macau Studies and the Department of Economics.

Today there are 41 casinos with 6.7 thousand gambling tables and 17 thousand slot machines in Macau. It is the only place in China where the gambling industry is legalized and still booming. What’s more, casino taxes provide more than 80% of local budget revenues.

Despite other industries like fishing, textiles, and tobacco production, about 70% (600 000 people) of the population is involved in the gambling business. For a good reason, the state budget of Macau is formed by 70%, just at the expense of profits in casinos. Taxes on gambling are very high, up to 40% (for comparison, the fee on other activities, as well as the tax on personal income, ranges from 5-12%). Thanks to the high level of development of the casino business, Macau has a meager unemployment rate (one of the lowest in China).


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