Casino regulator the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) has confirmed to GGRAsia that some casino resorts in that country have been allowed to reopen “limited to a maximum of 30 percent capacity” and with strict health countermeasures against Covid-19. The information had first been disclosed by Melco International Development Ltd, an investor in the City of Dreams Manila scheme, in the Philippine capital.
“Integrated resorts and casinos which obtained permits from their respective local governments are allowed to open on trial run under the strictest health and safety protocols,” said a spokesperson from Pagcor in an email statement to GGRAsia. “Operations are limited to a maximum of 30 percent capacity.”
The person said that the reopening date of each property might vary “depending on the current local situation” and the preparation works of each individual operator.
In its latest interim report, Melco International said City of Dreams Manila was “preparing for the resumption of its normal operations in accordance with the terms and conditions” of Pagcor’s new guidelines. The company did not provide a date.
The Metro Manila area, encompassing the Philippine capital’s large-scale casino resorts, had its Covid-19 lockdown status eased back to general community quarantine, with effect from August 19, until initially to Monday (August 31) inclusive. On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila would its general community quarantine status until at least September 30.
Casino complexes in the Metro Manila area have been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic. But these properties had been allowed to conduct so-called “dry runs” of casino operations during phases of more relaxed quarantine measures.
According to second-quarter financial results filed by the respective operators of the Solaire Resort and Casino; City of Dreams Manila; and Resorts World Manila casino complexes, such dry runs generated the equivalent of millions of U.S. dollars in that period, coinciding with active quarantine measures in the capital.
In the emailed statement, the Pagcor representative also said casino resorts “located in areas under lockdown or enhanced community quarantine may not open.”
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