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Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Macau Casinos To Close

The government of Macau, China announced the closure of the gaming areas of 41 casinos due to the novel coronavirus. 

Howard Stutz, executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports, said the non-gaming parts of the resorts, including the hotel rooms and the restaurants, will stay open.

The closure will be in effect for about two weeks, but he also noted that the situation is fluid.

The virus outbreak started in Wuhan, China, which is in the central part of the country, but has spread throughout the rest of China. 

Ten people have been diagnosed with the virus in Macau, including two casino workers, according to a newspaper out of Hong Kong. Stutz said they had already mostly shut down travel to the enclave by shutting of high-speed ferry service and some airlines had cut service there. 

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The impact will mostly be felt by Las Vegas casino giants Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands. Both of those companies get a majority of their revenue from Macau.

However, Stutz said that all gaming companies have insurance to cover catastrophes. 

"Think back to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, shutdown the gaming industry in Mississippi for months," he said, "All these companies had insurance coverage."

Las Vegas Sands said they have a very strong balance sheet and the outbreak will not impact their bottom line.

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Howard Stutz, executive editor, CDC Gaming Reports 

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