Coronavirus hits industry, but underlying demand seen strong

Looking at the Chinese New Year visitation figures for Macau, it’s difficult not to be pessimistic about the near-term outlook for gaming in Asia, though analysts say underlying demand remains strong and there is likely to be a snap back once the situation improves. The Wuhan Coronavirus has killed 170 people, with almost 8000 confirmed cases as of Jan. 30. Cases have been reported worldwide, with the Philippines confirming its first outbreak on Thursday. Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Australia are among the regional nations to have reported illness.  In an effort to curb the spread, the Macau government cancelled all Chinese New Year festivities and extended the closure of government services for a further two days. Inbound package tours from China have been cancelled, while the individual visa scheme, under which the most valuable of the casinos’ clients travel, has also been stopped. According to witnesses, shops, restaurants...

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