Macau begins bringing back gamblers from China
Macau has started reissuing tourist visas to bring gamblers back and keep casino operators from losing $15 million daily in expenses.
The coronavirus lockdowns brought a severe downturn to the number of Macau's visitors that turned the world's biggest gambling hub into a ghost town.
Macau will restore visas for mainland China coming in as individuals or part of group tours in phases.
Zhuhai is the first Chinese city to be issued tourist visas.
Visitors from the mainland account for over 90 percent of Macau tourists, home to major casino operators such as Wynn, MGM, Sands, and Galaxy.
Authorities have not yet announced when the visas will be made available to tourists outside China.
According to China's National Immigration Administration, the opportunity to visit Macau will gradually be rolled out to the rest of the country in August and September.
Macau casino operators usually get revenues five times that of the Las Vegas Strip, mainly driven by Chinese demand.
China has lifted its two-week quarantine rule for Macau travelers upon across the country.
Macau, which has just 46 cases of coronavirus infections with no deaths, is heavily reliant on the tourism and gaming industry, which shrank 49% in the first quarter.