Asian boutique casino operator Donaco International Limited has reportedly announced that it has laid off staff at its Aristo International Hotel in order to soften the impact of a drop in business brought on by the recent coronavirus outbreak.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the Sydney-listed firm used an official filing to detail that the northern Vietnamese venue lies less than a mile from the border crossing into China’s Yunnan Province. It also purportedly declared that this frontier ‘is currently tightly restricted’ with authorities only allowing visitors with an ‘urgent’ or ‘official business reason’ to cross.
As a result, Donaco International Limited reportedly revealed that the first eleven days of the month had seen the casino within the five-star property record a 75% month-on-month drop in visitor numbers to 1,374 with rolling chip turnover falling by almost 82% to about $8.3 million.
Reportedly read the filing from Donaco…
“The virus has had a specific impact on [our] business operation at the Aristo International Hotel in Lao Cai, Vietnam, which borders Yunnan Province. In response to the slowdown in the business, [our] management has arranged unpaid leave for many staff members in February and has also reduced total headcount as well as deferring various capital expenditure projects.”
First reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan early in December, the new coronavirus strain, which is officially known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), has so far killed some 1,110 people and led government officials in Beijing to institute a range of containment measures including severe quarantine and travel restrictions.
The casino operator purportedly moreover stated that there is currently ‘no time frame’ on how long this ‘partial closure’ of the border between Vietnam and China may last as its duration will ‘likely to depend on the success of the broader efforts being undertaken’ to control the spread of the highly-contagious ailment.
According to the report, Donaco additionally used the filing to pronounce that there has been ‘no direct impact noticed as yet from the coronavirus’ at its other Asian venue, the 385-room Star Vegas Resort and Club. The operator purportedly additionally asserted that this property is located in the Cambodian border town of Poipet only a few hundred yards from the nation’s frontier with Thailand and that the nearby border crossing ‘remains open as usual.’
Donaco International Limited’s filing reportedly read…
“In the longer term, if efforts to contain the virus are unsuccessful, there is likely to be an impact on the Thai economy generally, which has a strong tourism element. This may lead to an overall reduction in demand from Thai visitors to the Poipet casino.”