The gambling Mecca of the east has been praised for the way it responded to the coronavirus pandemic. Macau was hit long before the actual pandemic was proclaimed, and it underwent an immediate shutdown for two weeks, reporting just a couple of cases in the area.
However, as China continued to open up, risks of new COVID-19 infections increased, but the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has another plan prepared now.
Namely, the rule is pretty simple. If any of the casinos (or any other properties in Macau) are found to be the host of the COVID-19 infection, they will have to be shut down for a while. The Chinese tourists are planning to return to the Las Vegas of the East big time, and the DICJ had to come up with some rather stringent rules.
The inspection had a meeting recently with the six gaming operators from the area, and the judiciary Police (PJ) also joined the discussion. The goal of the meeting was to discuss what to do next to keep the pandemic at bay. Apart from that, the DICJ discussed the future of the gambling industry in the area and its relation to the pandemic.
Luis Leong, the Crime Investigation Department Head at DICJ, stated that if and of the establishments in Macau are confirmed with a COVID-19 case, they would have to be shut down temporarily.
Casinos Facing the Element of Luck
Casinos will do all they can to prevent the disease from spreading within their respective premises. In other words, none of the venues would want to host a COVID-19 infested person.
The DICJ made a list of suggestions that involve really stringent health measures. Casinos will have to clean all areas more often, and every person will have their temperature checked upon the entrance. All high-traffic places will have to be disinfected frequently, and there will be plenty of other measures as well.
All Chinese nationals who want to enter Macau will also have to show a negative nucleic acid test. The problem is that many fake tests are now on the black market, but if someone is discovered to have one such forged document, they will have to go to the police.
No matter how strict the regulations are, there’s still no 100% effective method to keep all infected patients away from the casinos, as some of them may be asymptomatic. Therefore, it’s a sort of gamble for casinos now, as they will have to rely on the element of luck that such a thing wouldn’t happen to them and cause them to shut down.
China is in the process of reopening its province borders and allowing free travel, and this also involves Macau, so the officials of this area have to be prepared for all the possible scenarios.
On the other hand, it’s still not clear whether Chinese citizens will come flocking in or not after the borders reopen. Although they are still afraid to travel anywhere, the ones that do want to go on a vacation don’t have a lot of overseas options, as many borders are closed.
This might just be an opportunity that Macau has been waiting for, according to this Macau Business article.
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