Vietnam’s Prime Minister has warned major cities to prepare for a lockdown as it seeks to control the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Ben Lee, managing partner of iGamiX Management and Consulting, the country’s casinos have been told they will need to close from April 1st. Lee is a consultant for various casino projects in Vietnam.
“Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have to review and update plans to battle the virus, and have to stand ready for city lockdown scenarios,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was cited as saying by local media in a statement. “Vietnam has entered the pandemic’s peak period, major cities have to speed up and take advantage of each hour and minute to carry out defined measures,” Phuc said.
The country has stopped public gatherings and non-essential services until April 15th at the earliest. It has put a halt on inbound flights and restricted domestic movements.
Vietnam is following most countries in the region in closing down its gaming properties. Neighbouring Cambodia announced on Monday that the casinos would need to close, also from April 1st. Singapore’s two IRs remain open, but with severe restrictions on access, while properties in Macau are open, but its borders are effectively closed, meaning traffic is minimal.
The world is bouncing back, or at least coming to grips with the fact that going forward not much will be the same as before. Commendably, this industry quickly understood the need to adapt to a new normal, and that the days of targeting the low hanging fruit of the VIP sector are gone.
Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing what 2020 may have had in store.