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Macau casinos show what to expect from a Las Vegas reopening

Recently, the Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman made waves for pushing for the reopening of Las Vegas. While it may not make sense from a health perspective, their economy relies on tourism, conference and gambling. Even if the governor decides to reopen, it isn't clear how quickly things can return to anything close to normal. Casinos will need to spend more on regular cleanings and gamblers will likely need to wear masks, have their temperatures checked, and sit with social distancing. This doesn't sound like an ideal environment to gamble. Whatever the case, we can look the Far East to the Macau casinos to see how they have done.

April disaster

Macau casinos just suffered their worst month ever as the gambling hub had few players and a huge daily cash burn. Gross gaming revenue fell 97 percent in April from a year earlier! This is with casinos open for the entire month. 

The casinos reopened their doors following the 15-day shutdown in February. While operations have restarted, travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines for foreign travelers is limiting game play. 

Melco Resorts & Entertainment wrote in an internal memo that the number of customers since reopening has been "virtually zero." And this is in a city where there hasn't been a new coronavirus case for more than 20 days.

MGM perspective

MGM resorts hosted their quarterly conference call on Thursday and provided their perspective on the next few months. Once Las Vegas reopens, they won't open all its hotels at once, but rather start with two or three targeted at different traveler budgets.

According their CEO Bill Hornbuckle, "We'll go slow. We'll be responsive and responsible."

They also won't open all the restaurants at each hotel. Some will be open and there will be takeout food and beverage options.

Hornbuckle doesn't expect any concerts, sporting events or professional fights in 2020. "I think the idea that we're going to get 15,000 people in T-Mobile (Arena) for a concert anytime this year is probably a stretch."

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About the Author: Chris Wang

Chris Wang

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