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Macau casino closures costing Wynn Resorts up to $2.6 million daily

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Ulf Buchholz

The Wynn Macau is seen Aug. 17, 2011.

Thu, Feb 6, 2020 (4:17 p.m.)

Wynn Resorts is losing up to $2.6 million a day due to its luxury casinos in Macau being closed over coronavirus concerns.

That’s according to Wynn CEO Matt Maddox, who said during an earnings conference call today that the company is focused on the health and safety of its employees and the Macau community.

Officials in the Chinese city on Wednesday asked all casino operators to close in response to the virus. Largely focused in central China, the virus has infected more than 25,000 people and been responsible for more than 500 deaths.

“I’d like to commend the government of Macau and China for the decisive action they continue to take to contain the coronavirus,” Maddox said. “We’re in daily conversations with the government, and they’ve been terrific partners.”

Along with more than 40 other casino properties in Macau, Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace closed operations at midnight on Wednesday, though Maddox said hotel rooms and a number of restaurants have remained open for the few guests who remain.

More than 12,000 of Wynn’s 31,000-plus employees work in Macau.

“I don’t want to predict when operations will be back to normal, but they will be,” Maddox said. “Macau is set up for a really great rebound. Tourism is one of the first things that rebound with events like this because people want to get out and move around. We feel good about the long-term aspect of Macau once the virus is completely contained.”

Craig Billings, Wynn’s president and chief financial officer, said the closures would not trigger business interruption insurance payments and the company’s finances are in good enough shape to weather the losses.

“We have a ton of liquidity,” Billings said. “We have a couple billion dollars of availability between cash and revolver in Macau. That’s more than sufficient to last for, really, any period of closure.”

For the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31, Wynn posted operating revenues of $1.65 billion, down about 2% from the same quarter in 2018.

Revenue for Wynn’s Las Vegas operations totaled about $368.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, down more than 6% from the same quarter in 2018.

Wynn Resorts stock traded at $134.19 per share at market close on Thursday. That represented a jump of 1.4% for the day, but a decrease of more than 3% since the start of the year.

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