Donaco International Ltd have announced that forced unpaid leaves will begin for staff at the Aristo International Hotel in Vietnam due to the growing outbreak of the coronavirus. Staff will be sent sent home at least through the remainder of February.
In a statement provided to the Australian Securities Exchange, the company added that they would be “deferring various capital expenditure projects” related to that property.
On February 11, the Brokerage Union Gaming Securities LLC provided a statement that regional casinos in the Asia-Pacific region were at an “elevated profile risk” from the global virus outbreak. With the Donaco property being located near the border between Vietnam and China, it was easy to conclude that the facility and its staff would be in danger from the disease.
The risk of contracting the illness was not the only concern, however. Vietnam has imposed greater restrictions on visitors coming from China, resulting in a 75% decline in the number of guests visiting the resort-casino. In the statement, Donaco executives explained that the virus “had a specific impact on Donaco’s business operation at the Aristo International Hotel in Lao Cai, Vietnam, which borders Yunnan province.”
To help weather this storm, “Aristo 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.”
The problem is that there is no clear indication of when things may turn for the resort-casino. No timetable has been set as to when the border restrictions will end, and it does not appear at this point that the outbreak of the coronavirus is controlled. This, they explained, could lead to permanent measures being taken at Star Vegas, Donaco’s main casino in Cambodia.
“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.”
Star Vegas has yet to suffer any real impact from the coronavirus. No action has been taken in Thailand to restrict visitors, and concerns about the virus within Thailand appear limited at this point.