Gambling while standing is being allowed again at Macau casinos; albeit with added social distancing measures.
The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau confirmed to press that patrons will be allowed to place bets at table games, providing they are standing at least one metre apart.
Standing betting has long been seen on Chinese gaming floors and was officially banned in Macau in February 2020. The latest guidance reversing this comes as the special administrative region continues to open up from Covid-19 lockdowns.
While this is undoubtedly good news for casino revenues, dealers have reported difficulty in keeping patrons separated.
Speaking to GGRAsia, Jeremy Lei Man Chao, vice-director of the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, commented that the return of standing betting had been “problematic.»
He said: “We heard many cases where dealers were arguing with the mainland China patrons over that one-metre distance rule for doing standing bets.
«It is unrealistic to ask the standing patrons to keep a one-metre distance apart from each other and have them to stick to it – it is really not as easy to do it, as is [it would be] in the case of seated patrons.”
March gross gaming revenue in the special administrative region is expected to be down by around 65% on 2019 (the last comparable year of full operation) so casino bosses will understandably be keen to open up all possible revenue streams.
At present, the Macau Government is taking measures to boost visitation from mainland China, as international travel continues to be affected by the ongoing pandemic.