Today in Events: Tech Glitches Mire Iowa Caucuses; Macau Closes Casinos in Response to Coronavirus, Cigar Makers Abandon Industry Trade Show

1. TECH GLITCHES MIRE IOWA CAUCUSES: The Iowa Caucuses—the first official testing ground for presidential candidates—have yet to declare a winner because of difficulties with a new app that precinct leaders struggled to use. Des Moines Register: “The new app, and the secrecy surrounding it, were the source of much controversy heading into the contest. Party leaders declined to release its developer or details about how it had been tested. … Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said Iowa’s delay is a disaster for the future of the Iowa caucuses. ‘I’d say there is going to be a real movement to change the order of primaries. I really do believe it and I never believed it before,’ he said.”

2. MACAU CLOSES CASINOS IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS: The global gambling hotspot Macau has been ordered to close its casinos for two weeks to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus to the semi autonomous region. Quartz: “Even before [the] announcement, gamblers have been staying away from Macau’s casinos, which saw gambling revenue drop to $2.76 billion in January, down more than 11 percent compared with a year earlier. Tourist arrivals from China, which has quarantined more than a dozen cities and barred overseas group travel, were down 66 percent in the first three days of the Lunar New Year holiday (January 24 to January 26). Last year, the U.S.-China trade war, protests in Hong Kong, and a slowing Chinese economy led to Macau’s first annual gambling revenue decline in three years. Nevertheless, Macau’s annual gaming revenues, at more than $36 billion, far overshadow those of Las Vegas.”

3. CIGAR MAKERS ABANDON INDUSTRY TRADE SHOW: The four largest premium cigar companies have pulled out of exhibiting at the top trade show for the cigar industry, Premium Cigar Association, over plans to add a consumer day to the show. Robb Report: “Many of the largest premium cigar companies feel they are not being fairly represented by the PCA in relationship to the massive amounts of money they spend annually on the trade shows and related PCA costs. In addition, the PCA had proposed that the first day of the upcoming 2020 trade show be opened—for the first time—to consumers, under the banner of CigarCon. Dealers would not be allowed to purchase product during this time, which is traditionally the busiest buying day of the show. While consumers might rejoice, this would result in sales losses for the manufacturers and potentially expose some of the industry’s trade secrets to the buying public.”