First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Macau shuts all its casinos to curb Covid-19, gaming sh...



Macau shuts all its casinos to curb Covid-19, gaming shares plunge

A dealer sits at a black jack table on the gaming floor of the MGM Cotai casino and resort a few hours before the opening in Macau, China, 13 February 2018. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
By Reuters
11 Jul 2022 0

HONG KONG, July 11 (Reuters) - Macau shut all its casinos for the first time in more than two years on Monday, sending shares in gaming firms tumbling as authorities struggle to contain the worst coronavirus outbreak yet in the world's biggest gambling hub.

The city’s 30-plus casinos and other businesses will shut for one week and people were ordered to stay at home though short trips for essential services were allowed.

Police will monitor flows of people outside and stringent punishments will be imposed for those who disobey, the government said.

Although many casinos have been effectively closed for the past three weeks with only minimal staffing allowed, the more drastic measures hit investor confidence hard. Some analysts predicted that any recovery in gaming revenue might not happen until the end of the third quarter or during the fourth quarter.

“We would probably need to write-off July and likely August as well from the models,” said DS Kim, an analyst at J.P. Morgan.

Shares in Sands China 1928.HK plunged 9%, while shares in Melco International 0200.HK, Wynn Macau 1128.HK, SJM 0880.HK, Galaxy 0027.HK, MGM China 2282.HK dropped between 6% and 7%.

Macau has recorded around 1,500 COVID-19 infections since mid-June. Around 19,000 people are in mandatory quarantine as the government adheres to China’s “zero-COVID” policy that aims to stamp out all outbreaks, running counter to a global trend of trying to co-exist with the virus.

More than 30 zones in the city that have been deemed high risk are now under lockdown, meaning no one is allowed to enter or exit for at least 5 days. While the government said it was not imposing a citywide lockdown, the stringent measures mean Macau is effectively closed.

Casinos were last shut in Macau in February 2020 for 15 days. The government has previously been hesitant to close casinos due to its mandate to protect jobs. The industry employs most of the population directly and indirectly and accounts for more than 80% of government revenues.

Frustration is mounting at the government’s handling of the outbreak. Fights have broken out at testing centres while some residents have had to queue for more than 20 hours to access healthcare facilities.

Residents will be required to take part in mass COVID-19 tests four times this week. They have already been tested six times since mid-June and are expected to do rapid antigen tests daily.

More than 90% of Macau’s 600,000 residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but this is the first time the city has had to grapple with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

Authorities have added two hotels in popular casino resorts to be used as COVID medical facilities as they try to increase capacity to handle the surge of infections.

By Farah Master

(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Stephen Coates and Edwina Gibbs)


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted