Resumption of casino operations permitted after extensive evaluation of risk


The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Lei Wai Nong, said casinos would be permitted to resume operations after the stroke of midnight on Thursday (20 February), under Executive Order 39/2020 published today in the Macao SAR Gazette.

Speaking in today’s press conference held by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, Secretary Lei mentioned casino operators could however apply to the Government for an extension – up to a maximum of 30 days – of the current suspension, should they consider they were not ready for resumption of operations.

The new Executive Order has lifted a requirement stipulated in an Executive Order issued on 4 February, which stated that – with effect after the stroke of midnight of 5 February – gaming operations at all casino premises in Macao should be suspended. The government had recommended such suspension should be for a period of 15 days.

In today’s press conference, Secretary Lei said the decision to permit reopening of casinos was made after extensive evaluation of the risk to the community regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19. He stressed that the safety of all casino employees and customers was the priority for the Government when considering whether to permit resumption of casino operations.

The Government has been in discussion with the city’s six gaming concessionaires and sub-concessionaires regarding preparatory work for the resumption of operations, stated Mr Lei. Topics discussed included: the need for thorough checks at all casino premises; the imposition of body-temperature checks at casino entrances; a requirement that all employees and patrons each wear a face mask; and an adjustment in the distance between gaming tables.

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