Macau’s MGM Cotai casino locked down after dealer COVID case – media

HONG KONG, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Macau’s MGM Cotai casino, operated by MGM China (2282.HK), was locked down on Sunday morning after a dealer was found to be infected with COVID-19 in the world’s biggest gambling hub, local publication Inside Asian Gaming reported.

MGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The closure deals a blow to casino operators who have already been grappling with COVID restrictions for more than two and a half years.

Government health workers were at the MGM Cotai site with noone allowed to enter or exit the building, Inside Asian Gaming said. It said guests inside the property have been told by workers that the lockdown may last two days.

The publication said it was not able to immediately verify how many people were inside.

The closure comes after Macau detected its second coronavirus case this month, after having no cases for more than three months. The infections come just ahead of a planned resumption of inbound tours from mainland China visitors in November after a hiatus of more than two and a half years.

All of Macau’s 700,000 residents must take a rapid antigen test for COVID daily from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, Macau’s government said in a statement that made no mention of the MGM closure.

Macau’s casinos have been losing millions of dollars monthly due to coronavirus restrictions as the special administrative region follows China’s ‘dynamic zero COVID’ policy, which aims to curb all outbreaks.

Macau’s six casino operators – Sands China (1928.HK), Wynn Macau (WYNN.O), Galaxy Entertainment (0027.HK), MGM China, Melco Resorts and SJM Holdings (0880.HK) – are currently awaiting a government decision on whether they will be granted new licenses. read more

Macau executives said the decision could come as early as this week.

Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by William Mallard and Kenneth Maxwell

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