Macau—The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) issued a statement indicating its plans on taking a more serious interest in casino operations in the Chinese administrative region. The DICJ added that it will be performing “rigorous inspections” to make sure that the gambling venues abide by the established protocols aimed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). The announcement came after spot checks conducted last week. However, the gaming regulator has not disclosed the results of the said inspections.
The DICJ announced last Saturday that it plans to hold regular and frequent meetings with Macau’s gaming operators. To keep the city on track and prevent another major shutdown that could immensely impact the economy, casinos have to enforce several different policies to protect their employees and customers, even if these policies aren’t always well-received. The DICJ added that it will continue to work together with the operators and make the necessary adjustments to “epidemic prevention measures under the guidance of health authorities.”
Adria Ho, who was appointed as the DICJ’s director last month, made some unplanned visits at Macau’s casinos last week. Ho said he wanted to see if the venues were taking the new health guidelines seriously or not. As of last Wednesday, everyone (employees, customers or otherwise) who stepped inside a casino had to have their body temperature measured. In addition, they also have to show a “valid nucleic acid test” showing they were not infected with the coronavirus. These tests, according to the American Society For Microbiology, can “detect the presence of characteristic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (RNA) in respiratory samples of patients.”
Casino employees, starting from July 16, are subject to regular testing to make sure they are free of Covid-19, and this is not going to be an easy feat. There are approximately 58,000 employees serving Macau’s casinos (the number is smaller now owing to layoffs due to the pandemic), but considering the massive declines in revenue lately, the health precautions are only a small price to pay.