Macau casino operations impacted by typhoon

By Harrison Sayers

Macau has seen its casino stocks and revenue take a hit after Typhoon Mangkhut impacted business operations over the weekend.

The storm has already badly affected the Philippines and forced the Chinese government to evacuate over three million people in southern China.

Fear of the typhoon’s impact on Macau, including a 33-hour halt in operations for casinos on the island, resulted in Macau casino stocks falling at the start of trading in Hong Kong Monday morning, with the Bloomberg Intelligence index for Macau casinos showing a decline of 2.1%.

Many analysts have begun to half their revenue growth expectations for the gambling hub in September, as an estimated $186m in revenue was lost during the 33-hour operational halt.

Macau has not seen its casinos forced to close their doors before, with Typhoon Mangkhut causing the first halt in gambling operations since foreign operator licenses were awarded in 2002.

Typhoon Mangkhut also added to investor concerns currently facing Macau, such as the impact of the US and China’s trade war on VIP gamblers visiting the island.

Last year, tropical storm Hato brought similar disruption to Macau. Hato claimed eight lives in Macau and caused power outages, flooding and a delay to MGM Cotai’s opening.

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