Macau casinos have re-opened following typhoon Mangkhut.
Most of the casinos in the enclave, an hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong, were closed after the government issued a lockdown on Saturday night (September 15) as the typhoon approached.
According to Bloomberg, the casinos re-opened this morning (September 17) but stocks for the casinos fell as much as 2.1% due to the 33-hour closure.
Grant Govertsen, an analyst for the Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd. estimated that the casino closure is expected to cost Macau anywhere between 1.1 to 1.5 billion patacas in lost gaming revenue.
This weekend marked the first time Macau shut down its casinos since licenses were given out in 2002. The storm disruption is expected to dampen casino revenue in the area as September’s revenue growth rate could be affected as much as 7%.
Despite the fall in revenue and stock, many industry officials praised the government’s decision to close the casinos.
Stephen Lau, the President of Powe Macao Gaming Association, an organisation that represents casino workers, said: “This is the first time in Macau history that all casinos halted operations, to ensure the safety of employees. We are seeing the government and casino operators no longer just put profit over the employees’ interest.”
The typhoon hit mainland China late on Sunday (September 16) after leaving a trail of destruction in Hong Kong and Macau and killing around 59 people in the Philippines.
Casinos in the area were disrupted last year by typhoon Hato which reportedly caused 10 deaths.