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Casino Operators in Macao Face Fallout From New Entry Restrictions

By Rhian Hunt – Updated Aug 5, 2020 at 10:03AM

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Authorities now demand a negative coronavirus test within 3 days of entry from Hong Kong.

After rolling snake eyes in Macao during July with a 94.5% revenue drop, casino companies such as MGM Resorts International (MGM -2.27%) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS 1.11%) seemingly can't catch a break as officials have imposed even more-stringent entry requirements for Macao. The new rule took effect Tuesday.

As new cases of COVID-19 spike in Hong Kong, Macao's administrators decided to require coronavirus-free nucleic-acid test results from the preceding 72 hours as a condition for entry from Hong Kong. This replaces the previous seven-day window after a negative nucleic acid test. The 14-day quarantine on arrival remains unchanged.

Airport travelers in masks.

Image source: Getty Images.

The new restriction on Hong Kong arrivals could reduce casino take even more. According to analysts quoted by gambling industry website GGR Asia, Hong Kong is estimated to contribute up to 15 percent of Macao's gross gaming revenue, and the worsening situation in Hong Kong is not helping Macao in the near term.

Last Wednesday, Lei Wai Nong, the secretary for economy and finance in Macao, asked tourists and visitors to be patient, noting the Macao Special Administrative Region is working closely with mainland Chinese officials for a gradual travel reopening. He also said that the pandemic "has been lasting longer than we expected."

Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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