In Macau and casinos hoping to re-open following the temporary 15-day coronavirus shutdown will reportedly be required to reduce the number of gaming tables and slots on offer and disperse staff breaks so as to prevent large gatherings of employees.
According to a report from GGRAsia, this was the guidance issued yesterday by the enclave’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau regarding any of the 39 active casinos that are hoping to again begin serving gamblers from midnight tomorrow.
GGRAsia reported that Macau temporarily shuttered its many casinos from February 4 in an attempt to stop the spread of the highly-contagious coronavirus strain that has so far killed over 2,000 people in neighboring China. Although some venues subsequently kept their restaurants and hotels open, the vast majority purportedly completely shut up shop in hopes of preventing the contagion, which is officially known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Despite fears the interim shutdown could well be extended, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reportedly detailed that all of the city’s casinos are to be permitted to re-open from Thursday so long as they half their gaming table operations and maintain a minimum one-meter distance between every unit. The regulator also purportedly advised operators not to allow customers to wager while standing and institute a similarly-sized gap between dealers and patrons.
As if this wasn’t enough, GGRAsia reported that re-opening casinos in Macau are to moreover to be required to halve the number of gaming table seats and not permit gamblers to sit alongside each other. It detailed that this move is destined to see units that would normally cater to eight players converted to seat only four.
The guidance from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau furthermore runs to slots with the re-opening casinos reportedly being asked to place ‘one or two’ non-working units between each operating machine. The regulator additionally purportedly requested that operators thoroughly clean and disinfect staff shuttle buses every hour and open their parking lots to employees wanting to use their own vehicles.
Finally, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau also reportedly advised properties that anti-coronavirus measures put in place before the temporary shutdown are to remain in place. It purportedly detailed that these will include entry temperature checks for all staff and guests and the regular deep cleaning of all gaming areas as well as an obligation that everyone wears a protective face mask at all times.
The Macau regulator is expecting casinos to conduct a phased opening from tomorrow with operators planning to ‘gradually resume’ normal business depending on ‘guests demand’ and the availability of employees.