The whole world has been shaking since a deadly virus broke out in China. Many fear a horror scenario in which the virus could infect people en masse. as Casino connoisseurs of course we immediately think of the gambling metropolis of the world, Macau, which is part of China and whose majority of the players come from mainland China. We have researched for you: has the coronavirus already arrived in Macaos Casino? How does this affect the casino industry??
Macau - the casino center of the world
Anyone who still thinks today that Las Vegas is the world capital of gambling is probably still living in the past. Macau has been ahead of the pack for many years - Macau, an ex-colony of Portugal, today a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. The peninsula that lies next to Hong Kong on the southern coast of mainland China, has become the land of luxury casino resorts and had sales of 2.8 billion US dollars in 2019 alone.
As you may know, the Chinese celebrate New Year a little differently than the rest of the world. The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, always takes place between 21. January and 21. February and is considered to be the most important holiday. Traditionally, Chinese people travel home for the New Year celebrations or spend a vacation with the family. That solves the annually largest regular migratory movement in the world. The coronavirus outbreak therefore came at the worst possible time.
Today: a ghost town and at least seven infected people
Macau, a popular tourist destination, is usually packed with people and festivities at this time of year. Today the casino metropolis resembles a ghost town. All events have been canceled and entry from the mainland has been extremely restricted to prevent the virus from spreading.
The number of tourists has fallen by almost 80% compared to last year. Schools and universities were also closed and the population instructed to stay at home if possible.
The corona virus arrived in Macau and its casinos anyway. Seven confirmed cases have already been reported - three of these people had previously stayed at some of the largest casino resorts in Macau. Most of these infected people came from Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered and is now responsible for around 90 deaths worldwide.
The casinos suffer - the online casinos benefit
The casinos are still open around the clock, but all have to wear masks and - who is surprised - the number of players is extremely low. The stock values of major Macau casinos are also falling rapidly. In this situation, however, they make a profit Online casinos: their daily influx is said to have increased by 90% in the past few days, compared to last year. Makes a lot of sense, because all players who no longer dare to leave the house want to play anyway. And if you are more or less inevitably on vacation and sit at home in fear and horror, you would of course like to distract yourself in an entertaining way.
For the still very unregulated and partly black markets of online gaming in Asia, this could be one trigger a long-awaited turnaround and lead to an active regulation of the markets. If that happens, some of Macau's many luxury casino palaces might consider staying open at all after the blow of the economic fallout from the coronavirus.