Macau authorities ordered a nine-hour shutdown of all casinos starting late Friday night as the city raised the No. 9 storm signal at 11 p.m.
After the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau lowered the typhoon signal from No. 10 to No. 8 at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Macau’s Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng ordered gambling facilities to reopen again at 8 a.m. Following the nine-hour shutdown from Friday to Saturday, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau coordinated with affected businesses and oversaw staff accommodation.
During Super Typhoon Saola, Macau borders and external transportation links were closed or suspended. The gaming operators arranged space within their facilities for employees to rest when the city’s transport was suspended.
The city’s Marine and Water Bureau announced the suspension of the ferry service between Macau and Hong Kong on Thursday night.
However, the reopening of borders and transport took place hours after the reopening of the casinos. According to AGB checks, public bus services and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau transport only resumed at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Super Typhoon Saola was compared with Typhoon Hato, which occurred in 2017. The late warning from authorities about Hato led to 10 deaths in the gaming hub, and some casinos were forced to close due to electricity failures.
In addition, the shutdown due to Typhoon Saola was relatively short compared with a 33-hour closure during Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018, which cost casinos millions.
According to the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau, Typhoon Haikui is also expected to near the territory, as Macau’s neighboring Hong Kong raised the standby No. 1 storm signal early on Monday morning. However, the typhoon is not expected to track near Macau, making landfall on Tuesday between Guangdong and Fujian.