The rapidly spreading coronavirus is having a massive impact on the global gambling industry with impact being felt in both land-based casinos and investor’s wallets. Across Asia, casinos that would normally be packed with travelers, particularly those in Macau, are seeing a rapid drop in their business. Stock prices for gambling operators who run those casinos saw a drop in their stock prices as a result of the virus. And in the Philippines, where thousands of expatriate Chinese work in the massive offshore, online gambling business, business operations have been seriously impacted by a new quarantine on workers returning from the Chinese mainland.
In Macau, concern that travelers will no longer be allowed to reach the island and/or that the legendary casinos there would be shut down completely caused stock in companies like Las Vegas Sands and Wynn to drop about 1.3 percent earlier this week, according to a report on theStreet.com. It’s also caused a reduction in travel during the busy Lunar New Year travel season, an important busy stretch for Asian casinos. As of this writing, however, there have been no reported cases of coronavirus in Macau.
In the Philippines, where thousands of Chinese nationals work in the gambling business, particularly in call centers, authorities have introduced a new 10-day quarantine on new arrivals from the Chinese mainland. The logistics of the POGO quarantine are unclear at this point, but workers returning from any country that’s had a reported case of coronavirus will be covered by the quarantine.
In short, international businesses of all kinds, including the gambling business, are beginning to feel serious impact from the expanding reach of this deadly, new virus.