Japanese gambling hub to close due to Coronavirus

The Venetian casino-hotel resort found in the Chinese enclave of Macao has reportedly shut down all their casinos on a temporary basis due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The outbreak of the coronavirus is causing havoc across the globe and Macao is the latest location to take action on trying to prevent any more fatalities. The Portuguese colony said on Tuesday that they will temporarily close down all their casinos after the coronavirus has struck again.

The virus which has now killed more than 400 people across China, spreading to over 20 countries and has now spread to at least ten people in Macao - is the reason for this drastic movement. Shutting down the Venetian casino hotel is a big loss for Macao with it being one of the main sources of income for the city’s economy.

On Tuesday, two new victims had been confirmed to have caught the virus which includes one woman who works in the gaming industry.

Ho Iat-Seng, Chief Executive has stated that the casino hotel resort is set to be temporarily be closed for two weeks, but has informed that the shutter of these casinos may be further extended depending on the movement of the virus.  Ho Iat-Seng went on to say: “This is a difficult decision but we have to do it, for the health of our Macao residents.”

Macao sits as the only place in China where gambling is legal, so it attracts a huge amount of people and their casinos account for around 80% of the government’s total revenue.  The temporary shutting of the Venetian casino-hotel resort was a decision that had to be made, as around 35 million people visited the densely populated city just last year.  The majority of these visitors arrive from mainland China and attend the casinos.

The outbreak of the coronavirus comes at a poor time for the Portuguese colony, as they would usually be enjoying their busiest period of the year - the Lunar New Year - but the number of visitors to the resort has dropped by 80% in the last week.

Ho Iat-Seng told reporters that there are no plans as of yet to close the border with mainland China, however, he would consider closing particular checkpoints in an attempt to stifle the outbreak of the coronavirus.

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