The coronavirus that’s spreading across Asia, and the rest of the world is having a huge impact on the Asian gambling business and the situation, apparently, is only going to get worse. Chinese gambling workers are being barred from some Asian countries and the casinos in Macau could close down for an indefinite time; and that may just be the beginning.

At the most extreme end of the measures being considered by Chinese authorities to mitigate the spread of the frightening virus is the suggestion that Macau’s legendary casinos shut down completely for at least two weeks. The suggestion was made by Chief Executive Ho lat Sang in an interview with Macau Business. “We held a meeting this morning to discuss if some casino services should be suspended.[…] This afternoon we will meet with gaming concessionaire and legal advisers. It’s a difficult measure but we have to take it to protect the health of residents. It will have a great impact on the local economy but we need to face this challenge.”

Ho Lat Seng did not say when the closings would occur, but he seemed relatively set on the fact that they would likely happen. Maybe sooner rather than later.

In the Philippines, a ban on travelers who have been to infected countries, including China is having a huge impact on the gambling business in that country. Chinese workers fill thousands of jobs at Philippines casinos and their absence will definitely be noticed.

The unfortunate part of this story is that the impact of the coronavirus on the Asian gambling business is likely just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how the deadly virus will impact the world.


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