FILE - In this Jan, 23, 2020, file photo released by Initium Media, tourists wearing masks, take photographs outside the Casino Lisboa in Macao, China. The Chinese territory of Macao will allow casinos to reopen Friday, Feb. 21, 2020 after a 15-day closure imposed to help block the spread of China's virus outbreak. (Choi Chi Chio/Initium Media via AP, File)

Macao casinos allowed to reopen after anti-virus closure

February 17, 2020 - 7:02 am

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese territory of Macao will allow casinos to reopen Friday after a 15-day closure imposed to help block the spread of China's virus outbreak.

The territory’s finance secretary, Lei Wai Nong, announced the decision Monday at a news conference, according to Macao broadcaster TDM.

The closure Feb. 5 hurt major casino operators including Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Casino gambling is a major industry in Macao, a former Portuguese colony west of Hong Kong on China's southern coast.

No date has been announced for reopening other public facilities including cinemas, internet cafes, bars and gyms still are closed.

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