Macau sees revenues rise in July

By Ethan Anderson Updated
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July saw a boost to the coffers of Macau’s casinos, with a 29 per cent month-on-month gaming revenue increase.

GGR Asia reports that gross gaming revenue rose to about US$1.06 billion in July.

Judged year-on-year, this figure was a massive 528.1 per cent increase compared to last July, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said.

GGR in June had been impacted by tighter countermeasures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Macau, coinciding with new cases in neighbouring Guangdong province, the largest single feeder market currently for Macau’s tourists.

The upped restrictions led to a decline in June in inbound travel to Macau from mainland China.

The measures were gradually eased between the second half of June and early July.

Travel restrictions between Macau and mainland China have increased in late July due to fresh COVID-19 infections on the mainland.

With effect from the stroke of midnight on July 31, people intending to enter Macau on a direct flight from mainland China must hold a nucleic acid test certificate issued within 48 hours proving they are negative for COVID-19 infection.

For the first seven months of 2021 combined, Macau has recorded $7.18 billion in gross gaming revenue, a 63.9 per cent increase over the same period in 2020.

Singapore virus cluster causes closure

A cluster of coronavirus cases at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands has grown to 40, with the gaming venue closed to the public until August 5.

The casino operator said that all of its team members working on the property were subject to regular testing.

The venue shut on July 22.

Singapore is home to a casino duopoly, with the other casino, Resorts World Sentosa, operated by Genting Singapore.

It said that it continues to maintain “reduced guest capacity” for its gaming operations from July 22 until August 18.

Capacity restrictions at Resorts World Sentosa would also apply to a number of non-gaming attractions.

New virtual reality museum at MBS

Despite the issues plaguing the venue, the Las Vegas Sands Corp operating business announced in July the opening of a new permanent VR gallery at its ArtScience Museum.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the museum, which opened in February 2011, the VR gallery will be equipped with state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets and controllers, encouraging visitors to explore unique immersive experiences from some of the world’s most renowned artists, museums and film festivals.

“At ArtScience Museum we believe that new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality enable museums to create pioneering new experiences for audiences,” executive director of ArtScience Museum Honor Harger said.

“Our new VR Gallery at Level 4 is one of the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and will present a rolling programme of cutting edge virtual reality works by artists, filmmakers and scientists.

“Building on the success of our award winning projects, the new VR gallery underscores ArtScience Museum as a destination for ground breaking immersive experiences.

The gallery will open with a program called Hyperrealities, featuring works by contemporary artists Olafur Eliasson, Marina Abramovic and Anish Kapoor.

Marina Bay Sands said strict COVID-19 safety measures will be in place, including safe distancing between visitors seated in pod seats, mandatory hand sanitisation and mask wearing.

Each visitor will also be provided a sanitised VR headset, a disposable VR mask and a set of sanitised controllers, with all contact surfaces and materials to be thoroughly disinfected after each session.

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