Amid citywide testing

Macau casinos excluded from Covid shutdowns, 2nd public consultation canceled

Macau casinos are allowed to stay open amid new Covid shutdowns.
2021-10-06
Reading time 2:01 min
Casinos have been exempted from an entertainment shutdown taking place after a new positive Covid-19 case. Borders have been closed and territory-wide testing is being conducted, set to be completed within 48 hours. Casino Oceanus is remaining closed for cleaning after a visit by a positive case last week. A second of four public consultation sessions on proposed gaming law revisions, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed.

Casinos in Macau have been exempted from an entertainment shutdown taking place in the Chinese enclave as a resident has been diagnosed with Covid-19. While bars, cinemas, gyms, and other venues have been facing closures since Tuesday, gambling facilities have been spared.

Civils have been asked not to go to work until Thursday, while schools and borders remain closed as territory-wide testing to find possible silent carriers took place on Wednesday, reports The Standard.

Measures were taken after a 42-year-old Vietnamese female renovation worker became the latest positive case in the gaming hub. Three men were confirmed with the Delta infection on Monday.

The closure of entertainment venues was announced by Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng, starting at midnight, Tuesday. 18 indoor sites have been listed to shut down by the authorities, with casinos nowhere to be found on the list. However, Casino Oceanus is remaining closed for cleaning after being visited by a positive case last week.

“In accordance with the Government’s prevention and control guidelines, Casino Oceanus is closed temporarily for disinfection works, while the gaming areas in the Jai Alai building and Hotel Jai Alai remain open as usual,” said the casino in a statement.

Macau is targeting to complete citywide testing within 48 hours. In the hours following the announcements, thousands of residents flocked to 41 testing centers, with hundreds of people waiting in line.

A second of four public consultation sessions on proposed gaming law revisions, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed, as authorities in the enclave raise efforts to prevent a major Covid-19 outbreak. The announcement was made via a statement from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).

This marks the second time a consultation session has been canceled. The first one, which was set to take place on September 29, was postponed due to the “state of immediate prevention” declared throughout that week. It was the only session to be conducted in Portuguese as well as Chinese.

The 45-day public consultation period was launched on September 15 and lasts until October 29. It is set to discuss legal revisions, including how many casino licenses will be allowed, how long the terms will last, the abolition of sub-concessions, and the level of supervision by the government. Macau’s casino licenses are up for rebidding next June.

The DICJ and the Secretariat for Economy and Finance have already hosted a consultation with Macau’s casino operators on Sept. 20. During the session, representatives for the companies –Sands China, Wynn Macau, Galaxy Entertainment, MGM China, Melco Resorts and SJM Holdings– asked for clarity on the proposed gaming law revisions.

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