MGM says losing US$1.5 million a day due to casino closure over COVID-19 threat

US gaming company MGM Resorts International said this week that it is currently losing US$1.5 million (12 million patacas) a day in Macau.

US gaming company MGM Resorts International said this week that it is currently losing US$1.5 million (12 million patacas) a day in Macau, where all the city’s 41 casinos have been closed by government order since February 5 for at least 15 days in order to reduce the risk of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Moreover, the Nevada-based casino operator said in a statement on Thursday (Macau time) that it withdrew its earnings forecast for this year, citing the COVID-19 impact on its casinos in Macau and Las Vegas. The company said the virus had made its outlook “unpredictable.”

MGM runs two casinos in Macau, one on the peninsula and the other in Cotai.

Last year, MGM got about 27 per cent of its revenue from Macau, the largest gambling market in the world.

Like its five rival gaming operators in Macau, MGM shut its operations last Wednesday. That has led to a complete loss of gaming business – all while the company has to keep paying staff and maintaining its properties, Bloomberg pointed out.

Bloomberg noted that even before the COVID-19 hit, the gaming industry in Macau was already affected by the anti-government unrest in Hong Kong and the trade spat between Washington and Beijing.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO The Wall Street Journal