The latest news and updates on the Covid-19 (coronavirus) – with regularly updated information relating to new cases, travel restrictions and other information to keep you abreast of the latest developments.
19 November 2020 – No HK/Macau travel bubble until fourteen days of no new cases
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has stated that the central government will only classify Hong Kong as a Covid-19 low-risk area if no new local cases have been confirmed for fourteen consecutive days, and only if Hong Kong achieves this status could Macao lift its quarantine for its arrivals.
Seoul area casinos and racing facilities are being limited to 20 percent capacity under tightened Covid-19 related social distancing rules. While most other social venues will have 30-50 percent capacity limits, a tougher standard is being imposed on gambling venues.
13 November 2020 – China says not the right time for travel bubbles, urges against overseas trips
A senior Chinese health official said now is not the right time to create travel bubble similar to the one suggested by Hong Kong and Singapore and has urged Chinese to limit travel overseas to prevent importing cases.
10 November 2020 – Pfizer vaccine prevents 90% of Covid cases in study
A vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE protects most people from Covid-19, according to a study whose early findings sent stock prices surging and were hailed by the top U.S. infectious-disease specialist as “extraordinary.”
The Macau government has announced that it will begin processing applications from eligible foreigners to enter the special administrative region from December 1.
5 November 2020 – Macau mulls further easing on entry requirements
The Macau government is considering the possibility of easing its months-long ban on foreigners entering the territory, provided that they enter from Covid-19 low-risk areas, such as the Chinese mainland.
29 October 2020 – Green light for Goa and Sikkim casino reopenings
All casinos in Goa have been greenlighted to reopen at 50 percent capacity from November 1 as measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic are easing in many parts of India.
The number of non-resident workers in Macau continues to shrink. By the end of September, there were around 181,000 “blue card” holders in Macau. That is 11,800 fewer workers when compared with the beginning of the year.
International tourists arrivals plunged by an annualised 70 percent during the first eight months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) has reported.
27 October 2020 -Hong Kong/Singapore travel bubble expected in November: Lam
A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is expected to come into force in November, renewing travel links between the two cities, Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam says.
21 October 2020 – All Macau gaming workers could face additional Covid-19 tests
Macau’s 53,000 gaming sector workers could be asked to undergo another round of Covid-19 tests, local health authorities indicated.
Some areas of the Philippines have been able to tentatively open their resorts for business after the Covid-19 lockdowns but for now they are just available to local residents. The resorts are in Negros Occidental in the middle of the archipelago.
16 October 2020 – Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble agreed in principle
Singapore and Hong Kong have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral air travel bubble, which will exempt travelers from quarantines or stay at home notices.
Genting Cruise Lines said on Thursday that it is recruiting Singaporeans to work on its ship World Dream, weeks before the commencement of a pilot scheme allowing two cruise lines to resume services with enhanced Covid-19 safety protocols.
7 October 2020 – SkyCity Auckland set to operate without restrictions
SkyCity Auckland will be permitted to operate without any Covid-19 related restrictions such as social distancing or limitations on the size of gatherings, the company has announced.
29 September 2020 – Cambodia casino reopenings underway
Cambodia’s more than one hundred casinos are in the process of reopening, according to a report in the Phnom Penh Post.
28 September 2020 – Donaco announces reopening of Star Vegas
Donaco International said its Star Vegas property in Cambodia reopened on Friday, though on a limited basis to test operational systems.
22 September 2020 – Covid-19 restrictions dropped for SkyCity properties outside Auckland
SkyCity Entertainment has announced that, except for Auckland, Covid-19 restrictions will no longer be necessary at its New Zealand properties.
18 September 2020 – Ha Tien Vegas opens September 18
Ha Tien Vegas is the latest of Cambodia’s casinos to restart, with plans to open its doors from today, September 18th.
9 September 2020 – Yokohama seeks dialogue with operators on impact of pandemic
Recognizing that the Covid-19 pandemic may have exercised an important impact on IR development, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has indicated that her municipal administration would seek a dialogue on this issue with interested IR operators.
7 September 2020 – Paradise City and Kangwon Land extend closures over Covid-19
Paradise City in Incheon and Kangwon Land in Gangwon Province have separately announced that they are extending closures of their casino business due to the spread of Covid-19 infection in South Korea.
3 September 2020 – Paradise City casino closure extended as more Covid-19 cases discovered
The three-day closure of Paradise City’s casino as a result of a Covid-19 infection of a staff member has been extended until at least September 7 as three more employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.
2 September 2020 – Covid-19 case forces temporary closure of Paradise City
Paradise City in Incheon has been hit by a Covid-19 case among a staff member, forcing the facility to shut down on September 1 for several days while emergency disinfection measures are carried out.
Donaco International said it has seen “significant progress” in moves towards reopening borders in Southeast Asia and its two casinos will be ready to resume operations as soon as the situation warrants.
31 August 2020 – Manila casino granted limited reopenings
Melco International Development revealed on Friday that City of Dreams Manila had been granted a limited reopening from August 24, and that this policy applied to other casinos in the region as well.
The Macau Gaming Show, organized by the Macau Gaming Equipment Manufacturers Association, has been cancelled for this year due to the “recent global health and safety situation,” it said.
27 August 2020 – Malaysia to shut borders to Q2, 2021
Borders in Malaysia may be closed to international tourists until Q2, 2021, Nancy Shukri, the minister of tourism, arts and culture told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview.
26 August 2020 – SkyCity anticipates Auckland reopening on August 31
SkyCity Entertainment Group issued a statement announcing that it anticipated being able to reopen its Auckland property to the public on August 31.
25 August 2020 – Visa applications from Guangdong begin
Guangdong province, the largest source market for Macau, started accepting applications for tourism visas to the Special Administrative Region.
The Asia Poker Tour said it has cancelled its upcoming leg in the Philippines due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
23 August 2020 – Covid resurgence forces Kangwon Land to close again
A resurgence in the number of new Covid-19 cases in South Korea has convinced state-run operator Kangwon Land to once again suspend its operations as a public health measure.
18 August 2020 – SkyCity Auckland closure extended to August 26
SkyCity Entertainment Group has announced that its Auckland casino and entertainment facilities will remain closed until at least August 26 as the nation deals with a reappearance of Covid-19 infections in the capital city.
13 August 2020 – Sihanoukville casinos given reopening green light
Casinos in Sihanoukville have been given a green light to reopen by the country’s health ministry as part of a phased reopening of the industry in the country and some are already back in business.
12 August 2020 – Auckland back in lockdown after new cases
Auckland has been put back into stage three lockdown, while the rest of the country moves back to stage two, after new Covid-19 cases were discovered in a local household with no obvious cause of transmission.
China confirms it will begin issuing individual visit scheme visas for the whole of Guangdong province on August 26 and will extend the program to all of China from Sept. 23.
11 August 2020 – Australian Capital Territory restarts its gaming business
The Australian Capital Territory this week has allowed the pokie machines to be turned back on and Casino Canberra to reopen its doors after six months of mandated business suspensions.
7 August 2020 – Macau again tightens restrictions on travelers from Hong Kong
For the second time this week, the government of Macau has announced tougher restrictions on travelers arriving from Hong Kong.
5 August 2020 – Macau tightens border controls with HK
The Macau Health Bureau further tightens border controls with Hong Kong in light of the spread of Covid-19 in that territory.
4 August 2020 – Metro Manila quarantine strengthened and lengthened
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, responding to appeals from frontline medical workers battling Covid-19, has ordered a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), the second-strictest designation, to be implemented from August 4 to 18.
Wynn Resorts is closing its Yokohama office due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the integrated resort business, though says long term it’s still interested in Japan.
China’s manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace in nine years in July, while manufacturing indicators in several other key Asian economies also showed signs of improvement after the Covid-19 slump.
Genting HK said it’s delaying the delivery of two new ships by about a year and cutting other costs to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
3 August 2020 – Air travel passengers down 99.7 percent year-on-year
Commercial flights into the Macau International Airport has fallen 94.2 percent year-on-year to only 350 in June, according to data from the Statistics and Census Bureau.
Australia-listed Donaco International will be placing a stronger emphasis on controlling costs and expenses after weak June quarter results due to the continued impact of Covid-19 travel restrictions on the company’s operations.
2 August 2020 – Manila general community quarantine extended to August 15
Metro Manila will have no relief from its Covid-19 related general community quarantine until at least August 15, according to a decision made by President Rodrigo Duterte.
30 July 2020 – Sihanoukville casinos ask to reopen
Casinos in Sihanoukville have presented a request to reopen their doors following the lifting of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
29 July 2020 – Donaco says border closure to curb Star Vegas visitation
Donaco International said it expects Cambodian authorities to allow its Star Vegas casino in Poipet to reopen in the next few weeks, although visitor numbers will remain low due to the closure of the border with Thailand.
28 July 2020 – Hong Kong descends deeper into Covid-19 crisis
Government authorities in Hong Kong have imposed the strictest anti-infection policies yet as the latest wave of Covid-19 spirals out of control.
27 July 2020 – Tougher quarantine restrictions a possibility for Manila
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says that Manila could go into stricter quarantine measures if the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
More than 25,000 Macau casino workers have undergone Covid-19 tests so far, with no positive cases reported, according to the Macau Health Bureau.
The Japanese government is planning to study the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling addiction as part of this year’s national gambling addiction survey.
26 July 2020 – Star Sydney ordered to tighten Covid policies
The Star casino in Sydney has been ordered by the state government of New South Wales to tighten customer restrictions related to Covid-19.
24 July 2020 – AGB launches Australia Covid-19 research study
Asia Gaming Brief launches a research study of the Australian clubs and pubs to gain a better understanding of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how the industry is responding to the crisis.
22 July 2020 – Covid-19 delays Rich Goldman’s Manila venture
Junket promoter Rich Goldman said the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the closure of a joint venture agreement that would allow it to provide VIP customers to Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila.
Suncity Group was given a Certificate of Donation by the Chinese central government’s Liaison Office to Macau for its efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
20 July 2020 – Melco gets recognition for Covid-19 efforts
Melco Resorts & Entertainment said the Liaison Office of the Chinese government in Macau has granted it a certificate commending its efforts to prevent Covid-19.
19 July 2020 – NagaCorp cleared to resume mass market business
NagaCorp announced that it has been permitted to reopen for full business, effective immediately, including mass market services.
Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) head Adriano Marques Ho makes personal inspections of local casinos to inspect their compliance with Covid-19 countermeasures.
17 July 2020 – Tigre de Cristal provided Covid-19 tax relief
The legislative assembly in Russia’s Primorye has temporarily lowered taxes for Tigre de Cristal as a relief measure over the Covid-19 outbreak.
16 July 2020 – Manila general community quarantine extended to July 31
Metro Manila given no relief from its Covid-19 related general community quarantine until at least July 31, according to a decision made by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Summit Ascent Holdings has announced that the governor of Primorsky Krai granted permission for Tigre de Cristal, owned by the group’s subsidiary in Vladivostok, to reopen for business.
The Macau government begins Covid-19 testing of all casino staff.
15 July 2020 – Hong Kong reinstitutes strict Covid-19 social distancing rules
A recent spike in new cases has provoked Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to reinstitute strict Covid-19 social distancing rules, reducing the size of groups that can gather from fifty people to only four people.
Macau’s health authorities have further clarified on Tuesday that whilst casino patrons will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test in order to enter a Macau casino, employees of the casino will be exempt from this rule.
14 July 2020 – WHO chief warns no return to pre-Covid normal “for the foreseeable future”
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Monday that those governments and others who are growing optimistic that the global Covid-19 pandemic is now being overcome are wrong, and the end is not currently in sight.
The provincial government of Guangdong agreed that travelers returning from Macau would no longer be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, effective July 15.
13 July 2020 – Ho Iat Seng expects recession to continue in H2
Macau’s chief executive warned that Macau will continue to see a recession in the second half of the year as a result of the coronavirus.
8 July 2020 – Renewed Victoria lockdown hits Crown Melbourne reopening plans
Crown Melbourne, the largest casino in Australia, forced to suspend in-restaurant dining and delay casino reopening plans after Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the city was reentering Stage 3 lockdown for another six weeks.
3 July 2020 – Cambodia’s casinos get the green light to reopen
All casinos in Cambodia have been permitted to reopen, local media reports citing Phay Siphan, Minister Attached to the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Royal Government Spokesperson Unit.
1 July 2020 – Hong Kong extends Covid-19 quarantine measures to August 7
The government of Hong Kong has decided to extend the compulsory two-week quarantine for travelers from Macau, China, and Taiwan for an additional month to August 7.
29 June 2020 – Singapore casinos to reopen from July 1
After three months of closure, the casinos at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa will be allowed to reopen from the first of July, according to an announcement from the Singapore Tourism Board.
26 June 2020 – Kangwon Land pushes back opening to July 6
At an emergency meeting on Thursday, executives of Kangwon Land decided that the reopening of the facility would be pushed back another week until July 6.
SkyCity Adelaide will reopen for business on June 29, though only to members and with reduced hours, according to a statement from the company.
Macau has reported an imported case of Covid-19, its first case since April 8th.
25 June 2020 – Caesars requires masks-on at all times at its properties
Caesars Entertainment Corp has implemented a universal mask policy across all of its properties starting Wednesday, June 24, 2020, according to a company announcement.
18 June 2020 – Australia likely to keep borders closed until next year
Australian tourism minister Simon Birmingham on Wednesday said it was “likely the case” that the ban on overseas travel will be extended to 2021, local media reports.
Genting Malaysia has announced that Resorts World Genting (RWG) will be open from 10 am from Friday, but with its casino accessible only to Genting Rewards members for the time being.
More than 60 percent of commercial flights in and out of Beijing have been canceled after the city raised its coronavirus alert level to two following an outbreak.
17 June 2020 – VIC to further lift coronavirus restrictions
Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed further easing of coronavirus restrictions in the Victoria, which will boost customer capacity for hospitality venues such as pubs and clubs, and allow for pokies areas to reopen.
Genting Malaysia Bhd has announced the reopening of its Resorts World Kijal in Terengganu and Resorts World Langkawi in Kedah on Thursday, June 18.
From Wednesday the Macau government is launching a temporary program to subsidize domestic tourism within the territory.
16 June 2020 – Macau border opening likely pushed to July: Bernstein
Restrictions on border crossings into Macau will not likely be lifted by the end of June, according to analysts from Bernstein Research.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Metro Manila and Cebu City on lockdown again starting June 16, following a marked rise in coronavirus cases, local media reports.
15 June 2020 –Parts of Beijing lock down as new Covid infections grow
Parts of the Chinese capital, Beijing, have been put under lockdown after a spike of new Covid-19 infections were detected.
Melco Resorts’ Cyprus casinos have reopened as of Saturday, June 13 with stringent health and safety protocols in place, according to a company announcement.
8 June 2020 – New Zealand to lift all COVID-19 restrictions from midnight
With no active cases of the coronavirus left in New Zealand and no new cases in a fortnight, New Zealand will be removing all social distancing restrictions from Tuesday 12 am.
New Zealand’s government will decide today whether to relax the country’s covid 19 restrictions to the lowest level after 16 days of no new cases, with the new rules to take effect as early as Wednesday.
3 June 2020 – Hong Kong extends visitor ban for 3 months
Hong Kong’s health secretary Sophia Chan has announced that Hong Kong will extend restrictions on visitors by another three months amid a cluster of coronavirus cases in recent days.
1 June 2020 – Coronavirus live updates: Hong Kong resumes transit flights
Hong Kong International Airport has resumed transit flights from Monday, June 1, after chief executive Carrie Lam lifted the transit ban imposed on March 25.
The Star casino in Sydney is set to reopen its VIP gaming rooms and up to twelve food and beverage venues starting from 4pm on Monday 1 June 2020, according to a filing from the operator.
Casinos in Nevada have been given the go-ahead to reopen on Thursday June 4, ending close-to-a three-month lockdown.
29 May, 2020 – 31st AGE delayed until August 2021
The organizers of the 31st Australasian Gaming Expo have announced that the event will be delayed until August 2021 out of concerns and policies related to the spread of Covid-19.
27 May, 2020 – Surge in Covid cases pushes Kangwon Land reopening back to June 4
Although Kangwon Land was set for a limited reopening this week, a sudden surge of new Covid-19 cases in South Korea induced the firm to announce yet another delay, this time until June 4.
25 May, 2020 – Japan lifts state of emergency in remaining prefectures
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put an end to the country’s state of emergency, lifting the order for Tokyo and its surrounding areas and Hokkaido on Monday.
At least two hundred staff in New Zealand’s off-track betting agency the TAB will lose their jobs due to a sharp downturn in racing and betting.
21 May, 2020 – State of emergency to be lifted on Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to make a decision on whether to lift a state of emergency on Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo today, as coronavirus cases in the three prefectures remain low.
20 May, 2020 – Las Vegas operators offer testing ahead of openings
Casino operators in Las Vegas have banded together to offer Covid-19 testing for employees prior to their return to work, which is expected to be over the next few weeks.
Health Bureau Director Lei Chin Ion stated on Tuesday that the risk of Covid-19 infection in Macau now was “very low.”
18 May, 2020 – No timeline for re-entry of blue cardholders
Macau’s authorities are continuing to bar the entry of non-resident workers into Macau, amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Thai government has extended its ban on passenger flights for another month to June 30, in continued efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to the country’s aviation authority.
15 May, 2020 – Japan lifts state of emergency for most of the country
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Thursday evening that the Covid-19 state of emergency has been lifted for 39 of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
The government of Laos has lifted travel restrictions which will allow people to travel freely around the country, though entertainment venues including casinos will remain closed until June 1
13 May, 2020 – Philippines extends lockdown on Metro Manila to end of May
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the Covid-19 lockdown in Metro Manila until the end of May, along with Cebu City and Laguna province.
11 May, 2020 – Australia aims to reopen the economy by July
The Australian government has announced a three-phase plan to fully reopen its economy by July.
8 May, 2020 – New Zealand could relax restrictions from next week
New Zealand could relax its restrictions against travel and get-togethers as early as next Monday, providing some relief for tourism, bars, retailers, and entertainment operators.
Mainland Chinese are still keen to travel despite the Covid-19 pandemic and Macau and Vietnam are likely to be the first destinations to benefit once travel restrictions are lifted and flights resume, say experts.
7 May, 2020 – Grand Korea Leisure reopens for business
Grand Korea Leisure, which suspended operations of its casinos on March 24, reopens for business.
28 April, 2020 – Travel restrictions to loosen in late May: Bernstein
Bernstein analysts are expecting a pick up in GGR in May or June, with travel limitations between Macau, Hong Kong and China beginning to ease over next few weeks.
27 April, 2020 – Duterte extends coronavirus lockdown to mid-May
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday announced an extension of the lockdown on metropolitan Manila and parts of Luzon until May 15.
New Zealand will be adjusting to a level three lockdown as of Monday, but faces major issues in its tourism, hospitality and aviation industries, which are reflected in falling business confidence, rising unemployment and declining share prices of listed companies.
24 April, 2020 – Covid-19 accelerates decline of the pachinko industry
We’ve previously noted that the shift away from brick-and-mortar facilities and toward digital online gaming is one of the trends now being accelerated by the global Covid-19 crisis, but it would seem that the decline of Japan’s venerable pachinko industry may be another.
The impact of the coronavirus on the industry in Asia has been unprecedented and the pace of reopenings and return of demand remains “vague and uncertain to say the least,” Union Gaming wrote in a note.
22 April, 2020 – Singapore extends lockdown to June 1
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has extended a partial lockdown across the city-state until June 1 to curb the recent rise in coronavirus cases.
Donaco International confirmed on Tuesday a further seven-day extension of the temporary closure of its casino operations at the Aristo International Hotel in Lao Cai, Vietnam.
21 April, 2020 – Duterte considers loosening Luzon lockdown
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday met with health experts and former officials from the Department of Health to receive “critical information” that will help him decide whether to cease the Luzon lockdown or ease it in order to begin business recovery, local media reports.
New Zealand’s strict lockdown has been extended but will end at midnight next Monday, the government announced on Monday.
20 April, 2020 – New Zealand mulls lessening lockdown restrictions
In New Zealand, the government is set to announce this afternoon whether the country will come out of a strict Level Four lockdown.
South Koreans have been returning to work and play as the country slowly relaxes social distancing rules amid a sharp drop in coronavirus cases, though experts warn against complacency.
17 April, 2020 – Japan “state of emergency” extended nationwide
Japan’s “state of emergency” declaration over Covid-19, applicable to only 7 of Japan’s 47 prefectures in its original form, will now be extended across the entire nation.
Kangwon Land, Korea’s only casino open to the local people, has announced that it will extend its Covid-19 closure yet again, this time until May 4 at 6 am.
Crown Resorts has announced that it is standing down approximately 95 percent of its workforce during the Covid-19 business suspension period, a process which is now “substantially complete.”
The Star Entertainment Group, required by the Australian government to suspend its operations since March 23, has provided an update of its activities, including an estimate of its cash burn during the enforced shutdown.
Amid growing speculation, the organizers of G2E Asia announced on Friday that the major gaming trade show in Macau would be delayed until December 1 to 3.
15 April, 2020 – India extends nationwide lockdown to May 3
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended India’s coronavirus lockdown until at least May 3, as the country confirms 10,363 cases as of Monday.
Scientific Games’ cost-saving measures are expected to save around $100 million in the second quarter of the year, which it says will assure a strong liquidity position.
13 April, 2020 – IPI going lean to survive COVID-19 downturn
Imperial Pacific International has cited the need for a more efficient and effective organization in order to endure the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
9 April, 2020 – Macau government reveals specifics of Covid-19 economic support plan
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong revealed some of the specific measures included in the territory’s MOP10 billion (US$1.3 billion) Covid-19 economic relief fund for businesses and individuals.
In a rare occurrence, Genting Malaysia Bhd in its latest annual report said it is not prudent at this juncture to issue any statement on the group’s prospects given the unprecedented times of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phase 1 of the COVID-19 emergency facility at the Rizal Memorial Sport Complex (RMSC) has been completed and is ready to be used.
8 April, 2020 – Japan enforces “state of emergency” closures in seven urban prefectures
The Shinzo Abe government has ordered Covid-19 related state of emergency closures in seven prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, which also applies to gaming industries such as pachinko.
SkyCity Entertainment, New Zealand’s only listed casino operator, is likely to post a loss in the first half of fiscal 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic hits, the country’s largest brokerage firm said.
Wynn Macau said it expects a drop of as much as 44 percent in Q1 operating revenue due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and expects to continue experiencing cash burn.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings all have a low risk of bankruptcy despite the crisis prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, analysts at Nomura wrote in a note.
The Shinzo Abe government has ordered Covid-19 related state of emergency closures in seven prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, which also applies to gaming industries such as pachinko.
7 April, 2020 – Russia casinos extend lockdown indefinitely
The casinos in Russia’s Primorye and Siberia zones have extended their operational suspensions for an indefinite period of time amid the Covid-19 outbreak.Philippine
President Rodrigo Duterte agrees to extend a lockdown on the island of Luzon, which includes the Metro Manila region, through to April 30.
6 April, 2020 – Singapore IRs suspending operations until May 4
Both Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa have announced they will be suspending operations until May 4 as a Covid-19 countermeasure. These closures are being made in line with a government order that aside from “essential businesses” other operations should be suspended as of April 7.
All public transportation links between Macau and Hong Kong are now severed as the bus service over Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has been ordered to suspend operations.
3 April, 2020 – SkyCity lays off 200, Paradise revenue plunges
SkyCity Entertainment Group said it was laying off 200 of its New Zealand employees immediately, and making clear that it foresaw serious long-term consequences from the current Covid-19 crisis, including a future as “a smaller, domestically focused business.”
South Korea’s Paradise Co. has reported a sharp decline in its March casino revenues by 60.5 percent on a year-on-year basis.
In New Zealand a body distributing tens of millions of dollars of profits from gaming machines in pubs and clubs has stopped giving grants because it hasn’t got any income.
IGT said it was standing down 2,300 workers in North America as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kangwon Land, the only casino in South Korea to allow locals to gamble, has again extended the closure of the property, this time until April 20th.
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, has said so far gaming operators are not laying off staff and the government hoped to ask for the lifting of the individual visit scheme once the Covid-19 situation stabilizes.
2 April, 2020 – Crown, Macau operators in good financial shape
Macau’s six operators have enough liquidity for the next six months before they are likely to need to draw on debt financing, Bernstein Research reported.
Australian operator Crown Resorts is in a position to weather the storm created by the coronavirus crisis, due to its low debt and variable cost structure, according to Fitch Ratings.
1 April, 2020 – Macau GGR collapses, Donaco warns on impact
Australia-listed Donaco International has warned that the closure of its casinos in Vietnam and Cambodia will have a “material impact” on its business.
Macau’s gross gambling revenue tumbled 80 percent in March, in line with expectations, with April likely to see an even greater drop due to tighter travel restrictions.
31 March, 2020 – Vietnam, Russia close, SG announces cuts
Vietnam’s Prime Minister has warned major cities to prepare for a lockdown as it seeks to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Lotto NZ said it’s suspending retail sales and will carry out all its operations online during the lockdown due to Covid-19.
With Moscow and other Russian regions gradually imposing a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, casinos across all Russian gambling zones have suspended operations.
Scientific Games is instituting a number of cost-savings measures to ensure stability for its team members and protect the operations of the company.
30 Mar, 2020 – Cambodia closes, Macau forecast cut
Australia’s Aquis Entertainment said it was standing down 90 percent of its staff and executives are taking a pay cut after the closure of its Casino Canberra property as a result of the coronavirus.
The declining trend in Macau’s gross gambling revenue is unlikely to stop before October, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley, who have cut their estimates for the year. The firm now expects GGR to drop by 35 percent this year, down from its earlier estimate for a decrease of 16 percent. It sees a 40 percent rebound next year, compared with its earlier forecast for a 20 percent gain.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the closure of all casinos in the country to halt the spread of the coronavirus and said the Finance Ministry will work with the operators on tax exemptions during the time they are closed.
The average occupancy rate of guest rooms in Macau fell by 76.9 percent in February, due mainly to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to statistics from the Macau government.
MGM Resorts International says it is implementing aggressive cost-saving initiatives to weather the COVID-19 crisis, after its properties across the United States were closed.
29 March, 2020 – Tigre de Cristal closes, Hoiana debut postponed
Summit Ascent announced to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday that it was suspending its gaming operations at Tigre de Cristal in Primorye and would offer only limited hotel services.
Suncity Group released its full-year 2019 financial results, recording lower total revenues and expanded losses as compared to the previous year and said it was postponing the opening of its Hoiana resort to 2021.
Genting Hong Kong, as part of its full year 2019, financial report, projected that the sectors it focuses on would suffer a “major setback” as a result of Covid-19.
27 March 2020 – Fitch downgrades MGM, Korea casinos assess losses
Fitch Ratings has downgraded MGM Resorts International’s and MGM China Holdings’ issuer default ratings as well as their unsecured debt due to “decreased financial flexibility following the recent sale-leaseback transactions as well as the severe disruption to global gaming caused by the coronavirus outbreak.”
With the decision to suspend business operations until April 6, some South Korean operators have begun to release estimates of the losses they are facing as a result.
26 March – Singapore tightens entry, ASEAN postponed
Singapore’s two integrated resorts have restricted public access to the casinos to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Asia Gaming Brief, organizers of the ASEAN Gaming Summit 2020, have announced the postponement of its Manila event to 22-23 September 2020.
In New Zealand the government has declared a state of national emergency which with their other legislative powers effectively enables them to run a police state to enforce the nationwide lockdown which started at midnight last night.
TCSJOHNHUXLEY has appealed to its fellow G2E Asia 2020 exhibitors, calling for them to stand together and advocate for the show to be postponed to the fourth quarter of 2020.
25 March, 2020 – Star stands down staff, Wynn execs. forego pay
The Star Entertainment Group, forced by government Covid-19 directives to cease gaming, banquet, and F&B operations in Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane, leaving only limited hotel services, has announced that it was standing down about 90% of its workforce.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike announced on Wednesday night a series of measures that amounted to a soft lockdown of the Tokyo Metropolitan District.
Wynn Resorts’ top executives have agreed to take a 33-100 percent salary cut for the remainder of 2020, as part of its strategic plan to navigate the difficult financial conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SPiCE India, a gaming conference focused on India, has been rescheduled to August 26-28, 2020.
24 Mar, 2020 – Macau tightens border controls
Macau has further tightened its border controls, imposing a ban on entry for citizens of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China if they have travelled to a foreign country in the past 14 days. Residents of the three locations are able to enter Macau if they haven’t been overseas, but will need to go into a compulsory 14-day quarantine in a designated hotel.
24 Mar, 2020 – Clarion postpones ICE NA
Clarion Gaming said it has postponed ICE North America, which was due to take place on May 13-14, due to the coronavirus. The event will be held in spring 2021, with the date to be announced shortly.
24 Mar, 2020 – New Zealand enters complete lockdown
New Zealand will go into complete lockdown, except for essential services, from midnight Wednesday.
24 Mar, 2020 – Tokyo Olympics to be postponed by one year
The 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed by one year, said a member of the International Olympic Committee Dick Pound.
23 Mar, 2020 – Australian casinos confirm closures
In line with government orders, the various casino operators of Australia confirmed the suspension of their operations on Monday.
23 Mar, 2020 – Silver Heritage shuts down its two casinos in Nepal
Australian-listed Silver Heritage Group announced on Monday that its two casinos in Nepal would be temporarily shut down in accordance with government guidance forbidding gatherings of 25 or more people.
23 Mar, 2020 – South Korean casinos to suspend operations
All of South Korea’s major casino firms have now announced suspensions of operations as a measure to combat the spread of Covid-19.
23 Mar, 2020 – Euro 2020 postponed by twelve months
23 Mar, 2020 – Nepal hotels to shut down
Due to the lack of business and fears of a coronavirus outbreak, hotels across Nepal have decided to shut down their operations until the situation improves, local media reports.
20 Mar, 2020 – New Zealand shuts borders, all tourists locked out
New Zealand has closed its borders to all nations. The last flights from international destinations have already arrived.
19 Mar, 2020 – POGOs also shuttered during Covid-19 lockdown
Philippine authorities have made clear that the Covid-19 lockdown also includes Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), which will not be allowed to operate during this period.
19 Mar, 2020 – Two casinos remain closed in Macau as grace period ends
At the end of the 30-day grace period for Macau’s casinos to reopen, the government has announced that two properties will remain closed and that about 80 percent of the table capacity is now operational.
19 Mar, 2020 – Sikkim goes under lockdown and shuts casinos
Not only Goa, but also the state of Sikkim, the small, mountainous Indian state wedged between Nepal and Bhutan, has gone under Covid-19 lockdown, including the closure of all casinos.
19 Mar, 2020 – Melco shutters Cyprus casinos
Melco Resorts & Entertainment-backed Cyprus Casinos is closing down its five properties on the Mediterranean island for a month to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
18 Mar, 2020 – PAGCOR orders nationwide gaming suspension
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has ordered an extension of the Manila gaming suspension to be applied nationwide.
17 Mar, 2020 – Macau closes borders after new infections
Macau closed its borders to all non-residents as of midnight on March 18, with the exception of blue-card holders and residents from greater China, after another case of imported Covid-19.
16 Mar, 2020 – Imperial Pacific announces temporary casino closure
Imperial Pacific International, which operates the only casino on the island of Saipan, has reportedly announced the temporary shutdown of its property from 12 a.m. on Tuesday.
16 Mar, 2020 – Mumbai horse racing suspended over Covid-19 concerns
The Royal Western India Turf Club in Mumbai cancelled this past Sunday’s scheduled races and have suspended for an undetermined period of time.
16 Mar, 2020 – Goa shuts down all casinos until the end of March
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has ordered that all of the state’s casinos be shut down through the end of March as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
13 Mar, 2020 – Casino closures begin in U.S.
Multiple casinos across the U.S. have announced they are temporarily closing due to the coronavirus, with properties in Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania all shuttering their operations.
13 Mar, 2020 – PAGCOR suspends gaming operations in Manila
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) said it was suspending all gaming operations in Manila following President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to put Metro Manila under community quarantine due to Covid-19.
12 Mar, 2020 – WHO declares coronavirus a global pandemic
The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, having spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
“We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
9 Mar, 2020 – Macau imposes quarantine on travelers from Japan and Korea
The government of Macau has announced its intention to extend its 14-day Covid-19 quarantine policy to a number of additional countries. The quarantine will now encompass travelers from South Korea, Italy, Iran, Germany, France, Spain, and Japan.
The government of Macau has announced its intention to extend its 14-day Covid-19 quarantine policy to a number of additional countries. The quarantine will now encompass travelers from South Korea, Italy, Iran, Germany, France, Spain, and Japan.
5 Mar, 2020 – Japan imposes quarantine on travelers from China, South Korea
Japan has imposed a 14-day quarantine to all travelers from Greater China countries, including Macau, Hong Kong, and Mainland China amid the coronavirus outbreak. The quarantine is set to come into place on Monday 9th March, and effective until the end of March.
28 Feb, 2020 – Macau entertainment venues to return March 2
While the government-mandated suspension on casinos were lifted on February 20, other entertainment venues in Macau such as cinemas, gyms, nightclubs, karaoke bars, massage parlors, beauty salons, and spas have remained under the ban. The authorities have now judged, however, that the threat of Covid-19 infection has now receded to the point that these facilities may reopen as of midnight on March 2.
28 Feb, 2020 – HK, Japan, and Korea ban public from race meetings
Japan’s racing authorities have barred spectators from its race meetings immediately in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. JRA’s decision comes after similar moves were made by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC). It is understood that South Korea has also halted racing events altogether until at least March 8, when the situation will be reassessed.
26 Feb, 2020 – Travellers from South Korea to undergo a 14-day quarantine
The MSAR government had imposed a 14-day quarantine for any individuals traveling from South Korea. The costs of quarantine in designated hotels will be borne by the individuals themselves.
20 Feb, 2020 – Almost a third of Macau casinos to remain closed
A total of twelve Macau casinos, nearly a third of the territory’s 41 venues, have opted not to open today, according to Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) Director Paulo Martins Chan.
19 Feb, 2020 – Macau casinos permitted to reopen on Thursday
The government of Macau has opted not to extend the 15-day order that all of the territory’s 41 casinos remain closed, paving the way for a return to business on Thursday.
19 Feb, 2020- DICJ issues regulations to prevent Covid-19 infection
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) met with representatives of all six concessionaires on Tuesday and laid out a series of strengthened regulations to prevent Covid-19 infection among casino patrons and staff.
Previous measures to be reinstituted include the measuring of body temperature for all visitors and workers at the casinos, at each of the territory’s 405 entries and exits for customers and 47 for workers, as well as the requirement that all customers and staff wear facemasks.
New measures include the requirements that gaming tables must be placed a safe distance apart, and no more than half of the tables in a given space may be in operation. Customers must also not be placed next to one another, meaning that, for example, only three or four people will be allowed to bet simultaneously at a seven-person table.
17 Feb, 2020 – Singapore IRs step up virus prevention measures
Singapore’s two integrated resorts have stepped up precautionary measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, whilst rolling out promotions to draw more local visitors.
12 Feb, 2020 – Too early to know if the peak is near: WHO
Health officials on Wednesday said it is too soon to tell if the coronavirus is showing signs of slowing. “This outbreak could still go in any direction,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization director-general, said at a press conference.
11 Feb, 2020 – Coronavirus renamed to COVID-19
World Health Organization (WHO) renames Coronavirus to COVID-19. CO stands for corona, VI for virus, and D for disease, and 19 is for the year it was first discovered, explained WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference in Geneva.
9 Feb, 2020 – Coronavirus deaths surpass SARS
At least 813 people are reported to have died from the disease, most of them in mainland China, according to official data released on Sunday.
8 Feb, 2020 – Hong Kong imposes quarantine measures for Mainland arrivals
The Hong Kong government has announced that visitors crossing the border from mainland China will have to enter mandatory quarantine for 14 days, starting Saturday 8th Feb.
7 Feb, 2020 – HK, Macau residents to face strict entry rules from Taiwan
Taiwan has suspended the issuance of entry permits on arrival and online processing of entry permits for Hong Kong and Macau residents.
6 Feb, 2020 – Macau hotels begin to suspend operations
With the mandated two-week closure of all casinos and a dramatic drop-off in visitors to the territory, a number of hotels in Macau are beginning to suspend operations
4 Feb, 2020 – Macau government orders two-week closure of all casinos
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has announced that all 41 of the territory’s casinos must be shut for a period of at least two weeks as a measure to prevent the further spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.
4 Feb, 2020 – Hong Kong confirms first death, a 39-year-old man from Whampoa Garden
A 39-year-old man has become the first person to die in Hong Kong after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. The man died on Tuesday morning after his condition deteriorated – he died of heart failure. It is understood the man had a “long-term illness and is known to have a cardiac arrest”. It is also understood he is the 13th confirmed case in Hong Kong, and was diagnosed on Jan 31.
4 Feb, 2020 – 17,391 confirmed cases of 2019-nCOV, and 362 deaths
According to the Australian Government Department of Health, as of 4th February morning, internationally, there are approximately 17,391 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, and 362 deaths have been reported – a 2.08 percent fatality rate.
3 Feb, 2020 – Hong Kong closes major border crossings
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Monday announced the closure of a number of border crossings with China, with exception of the Shenzhen Bay joint checkpoint, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, and the Hong Kong International Airport.
3 Feb, 2020 – US temporarily denies entry of foreign nationals who have traveled from China
The United States has begun implementing stringent travel restrictions Sunday evening, which includes the temporary denial of all foreign nationals who have visited China in the last 14 days prior to their arrival to the United States.
3 Feb, 2020 – POGO to implement measures against viral outbreak
Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) have agreed to implement measures against the coronavirus after the country’s first death from the viral disease on Saturday. This includes mainly information and education on the disease and its prevention.
2 Feb, 2020 – Philippines issues temporary travel ban for visitors from China, and SARS
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a temporary travel ban on visitors from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, to curb the spread of the coronavirus, after the first death in the country was reported on Feb 1.
1 Feb, 2020 – Macau casinos order all customers to wear masks
Macau gaming operators are now requiring all guests entering the city’s casinos to wear protective face masks – effective February 1. DICJ said that guests that do not comply with the measure would be asked to leave the gaming floor.
28 January, 2020 – PAGCOR to support anti-pandemic measures
PAGCOR has issued a memorandum to all POGO and service providers, ordering them to exercise extreme caution in selecting employees to be sent to the Philippines. Another Order has been issued to impose a 10-day quarantine on all newly hired and returning employees from countries with coronavirus cases.
23 January, 2020 – CNY celebrations canceled over coronavirus
The Macau government has canceled all public celebrations of Chinese New Year (CNY) in Macau in an effort to curb the contagion. The government has also ordered temperature checks to be conducted at all border crossings, and entrances to government buildings and casinos.
22 January, 2020 – Macau confirms first case, orders casino staff to wear masks
Macau has confirmed its first case of Wuhan coronavirus-linked pneumonia, in spite of the efforts of authorities to keep the infection out of the international gaming hub. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has asked its local gaming operators to reinforce preventive measures in their casinos, including the wearing of masks by all casino staff.