World’s largest casino city locked down
The Chinese special administrative region of Macau, known as the world’s largest casino city, has been put on lockdown for the first time in more than two years following a new Covid outbreak.
According to the city government’s statement on July 9, operations of “all industries and commercial companies and venues in Macau” will remain suspended from Monday until July 18, except for those “deemed essential to the community and to the day-to-day lives of the members of the public.”
Police patrols have been deployed to ensure public compliance with the new measures.
While the authorities are allowing restaurants to continue working, more than 30 of Macau’s casinos have shut their doors for the first time since February 2020, when they were closed for 15 days. The anti-epidemic measures resulted in gaming stocks plummeting on Monday.
The gambling industry is the lifeblood of Macau’s economy, with more than 80% of government’s revenue coming from it. The majority of the city’s residents are directly or indirectly employed by the industry. In 2018, Macau’s gambling revenue was $37 billion.
Since June 18, Macau has recorded a total of 1,526 cases, according to the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center.
Zhang Yongchun, secretary for administration and justice of Macau, made it clear that the lockdown could be extended and epidemiological measures tightened, depending on the situation.
With a population of 681,700 and an area of 32.9 square kilometers, Macau is considered to be the most densely populated region in the world.
Covid has been on the rise in China recently, despite the country’s strict zero-tolerance policy.