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Coronavirus threat prompts Macau to close casinos

Macau is to close all casinos for two weeks, with the region having reported 10 cases of coronavirus so far.

Macau

One of the reported cases is believed to be a person who works within the gambling industry, prompting the decision.

The death toll from coronavirus in China is now more than 420, with more than 20,000 reported cases of people with the condition.

The region has been hit hard by a fall in the number of tourists, with travel restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the outbreak, which was first identified in the city of Wuhan. 

As a result of the outbreak, gambling revenue for Macau’s casinos has dropped to $2.76bn in January, down more than 11% compared with a year earlier.

Ho Iat-seng, the Chief Executive of Macau, said: “This is a difficult decision, but we have to do it, for the health of our Macau residents.”

He has also advised people to stay indoors and only go out for food, though neither Macau nor Hong Kong have completely cut off travel from mainland China.

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