Gaming insights Gaming

The hour of no power

Written by Ben Blaschke

A casino without power is a lot like a bar with no beer – useless. So there were no doubt a few raised eyebrows across Macau when the lights went out at around 11am yesterday – the second blackout in just a few weeks.

Of course, the properties all have backup power generators for exactly this sort of scenario with the Venetian among those to confirm that their generators kicked in quickly once the voltage dropped. Taipa, Coloane and about a third of the Macau Peninsula were affected.

Still, it makes you wonder what could potentially go on during those precious moments of darkness when confusion would no doubt reign. And just how good are these generators? Macau’s big properties use a lot of power and it would be interesting to know what impact a blackout has on surveillance cameras – not that the concessionaires would ever release that sort of information.

What we do know is that a second blackout in two weeks will have Macau’s properties wanting answers given the last two blackouts came just a fortnight apart. Modern casinos spare no expense when it comes to security but one thing they can’t fully plan for is an extended power outage.

Questions must now be asked over the decision to import the majority of Macau’s electricity supplies from the Mainland with just nine percent produced by local supplier Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM).

Yesterday’s blackout lasted for just over 30 minutes but proved to be an eventful one with reports of people stuck in elevators and incidents of shoplifting due to CCTV cameras being down.

Let’s hope this doesn’t become a common occurrence.