Within the past few weeks, the world has been navigating the unknown waters that have been caused by COVID-19. A few countries have mandated lockdowns. On March 25 New Zealand went into lockdown, and life has been turned upside down. People went from seeing people walking the streets, eating in cafes, meeting up with friends; the next day inside their houses. All with the hopes of being able to stop the spread of the virus. The lockdown is to be adhered to for the next four weeks. Once again, it is in hopes to stop the spread as quickly as it has been going.
Many people are no longer working. With that, many businesses are no longer up and running. Some business is dealing with a harder financial hit than others. The business that needs people to come in is taking a very hard hit. Casinos are no longer in business. With the fear of spreading the virus, casinos can not function due to having too many people in one place congregating. Not to mention having to make sure everything is sanitized to help combat the spread of the virus. Casinos and other jobs within the tourism busy count for 14% of the jobs in New Zealand, which is about 400,000 jobs. And they are predicting that at least 100,000 jobs may be completely lost.
Before the full lockdown casinos were doing everything that they could to keep revenue coming in while keeping patrons safe. Casinos were unplugging two machines between others, to help maintain a safe distance away from each other. Making sure that they were staying safe, people were also taking those precautions. People had stopped using casinos as much as they use to. Which brought about uncertain times. People were worried about the loss of jobs for those that worked within the casinos. Certain parts of the casino were being closed, quite a few casinos were running at 75 to 80 % of their business open. It was just a matter of time before these businesses closed down. Out of the cases that they have reported, most of them have been vacationers visiting from other countries. When people go out to a place that is known for casinos, it is only natural that they stop and visit for a while.
Just like any good business, most casinos had a business plan in place to help their business if a full lockdown were to happen. Casinos started to help get plans in place on what they should do for their business in case of a lockdown. While they will take a huge financial hit, there should have been some time to be able to help get a plan in place to help reduce how much revenue is lost.
New Zealand’s business chief, Kirk Hope, has put out a package for businesses. In his plan, if a business reports more than a 30% loss in any month within the first half of 2020, these businesses can apply for a subsidy of $585 a week per full-time worker up to a maximum of $150,000 for 12 weeks. They will also provide funding of $126 million for businesses. This will allow businesses to give their workers at least 14 days of paid leave. It is only for 14 days, so some people will be out longer than that and it will be without pay.
New Zealand government has put out a stimulus package to help stop the fears of a recession. It is only 4% of the gross domestic product. They are also preparing for this to be worse off than in 2008 when the stock market started to crash. They want to make sure that big business we will be able to stay afloat. Hopefully, some of the casinos will be getting some of this put towards their revenue.
With casinos having to close for an unknown time is going to affect their business severely. While it is nice to be able to pay your employees for two weeks, it does not include the loss of revenue and keeping the behind the scene bills paid. It will be very hard for casinos and all businesses to be able to keep positive at the moment. With everything being so uncertain there is no idea when this will pass. Making it very uneasy for casinos to know when it is ok to open their doors again to start getting revenue back in. There is only so long casinos can stay closed before they may have to keep their doors closed for a long time, and worse, possibly never open their doors again. Hopefully, with all the precautions that have been taken, it is sooner rather than later casinos will be opening their doors again.