The Wuhan Coronavirus first appeared in early December and has now spread to at least 20,000 individuals. It’s one of the world’s scariest virus outbreaks in recent memory and is showing no signs of slowing down. New reports indicate several Las Vegas casino companies are losing revenue due to the impact of this coronavirus.
For now, the vast majority of infected individuals are in China. Unfortunately, this is taking a serious toll on Macau, one of the world’s biggest gambling hubs. Today, we’re going to look at how this virus has spread so quickly, and discuss the impact that it’s having on the world’s gambling industry.
Wuhan Coronavirus Continues to Spread Around the World
Over the past few decades, China has been the center of several new virus outbreaks. In the early 2000s, this country experienced an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. This was a coronavirus that caused chronic viral respiratory disease. It spread quickly and ultimately killed 774 individuals.
In December of 2019, the Chinese city of Wuhan began experiencing an outbreak of a new type of Coronavirus called 2019-nCoV. Researchers have traced the origins of the virus to a seafood market that allowed the sale of wild animals. Over the past two months, this virus has spread at an incredible rate with more than 20,000 now confirmed to be infected.
Nearly all of the confirmed cases have been in China. All but one death has also been confined to this country. Officials are doing everything they can to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading to other nearby countries.
One city that’s being heavily affected is Macau. This is one of the most-visited cities by Chinese tourists. Government officials here have looked at ways to ensure the outbreak does not reach Macau’s population.
Tourism in this city has dropped dramatically. Obviously, many of the casino operators here are losing revenue. This includes some of the biggest Las Vegas casino companies.
Las Vegas Casino Companies Struggle With New Macau Regulations
Macau is one of the world’s biggest gambling hubs. There are a huge number of major casinos here, some of which are operated by Las Vegas-based companies. Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts all own property in this Chinese territory.
Unfortunately, most of these companies have been losing money here. Not all of the blame can be placed on the coronavirus, though. The US-Chinese trade war had led to a major decline in tourism here. The Wuhan Coronavirus is just making things worse.
2019-nCoV is scary for several reasons. Officials are struggling to contain the virus and its now infected individuals in every single Chinese province. Leaders in Macau have recently decided to shut down casinos as a way to prevent tourism in the city.
Some of the biggest Las Vegas casino companies are taking a major financial hit from this decision. The three companies we listed above state they will comply with the new regulations. Pansy Ho, one of the most powerful individuals in Macau, commented on the casino closure to the media this week.
“It was a hard decision, but we must make it for the health of Macao residents,” she said to the media. “Macao can still withstand economic losses.”
It’s unclear at this point how much revenue these companies have lost in Macau. Unless the situation improves and the government begins to cut down on the infection rate, these losses will continue.
Gambling Revenue in Las Vegas is Likely to Increase
The gambling industry in Macau is hurting right now. Over in Las Vegas, however, things are running smoothly. This city’s gambling revenue increased significantly in 2019 and most analysts believe the trend will continue this year.
Some were surprised to see the revenue increase in 2019. A huge number of states have recently legalized sports betting and expanded their casino gambling options. There was a thought that this would take away from Las Vegas’ tourism. For now, this doesn’t appear to be the case.
In fact, things are likely to get even better this year. Several major casino-resorts are set to open in Las Vegas in 2020. This includes Resorts World Las Vegas, the most expensive hotel-casino ever constructed in the city.
Downtown Las Vegas is improving rapidly, as well. Derek and Greg Stevens are opening Circa Las Vegas before the end of the year. This new casino-resort will be one of the most impressive venues in the Downtown area.
Las Vegas casino companies continue to bleed money in Macau. Fortunately, things are going well in the US. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on this situation over the next few months!