FBM, a maker of casino slot machines and an international specialist in electronic bingo machines with a strong presence in the Philippines, has donated PHP20 million (US$393,000) to four public health institutions in that country via the nation’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).
The regulator gave the news in a Thursday press release, saying the funds would help the Philippines tackle the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic and its associated Covid-19 infection.
On Thursday the website of the country’s Ministry of Health said that as of 4pm on Wednesday the Philippines had 2,311 confirmed cases of infection, and 96 deaths.
Pagcor had reiterated in a Monday press release updating its financial position during the crisis, that in compliance with a government directive on community quarantine it had in mid-March ordered the temporary closure of all “land-based casinos, eGames, bingo, poker, slot machine clubs and sports betting facilities” until April 14. On March 18 it had extended the suspension order to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and their service providers.
FBM’s donation will be split equally between four institutions: the Philippine General Hospital, in the capital Manila; the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, in Quezon City; the Lung Center of the Philippines, also in Quezon City; and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at Muntinlupa in the Metro Manila area.
Pagcor said the medical institutions would use the funds “to purchase medical equipment… necessary to combat the pandemic”.
The regulator cited Pagcor’s chairman and chief executive as saying: “We are very thankful that many of our licensed gaming entities are expressing eagerness to help.”
Rui Francisco, FBM’s founder, was also quoted in the release as stating the nation of the Philippines meant “so much to FBM… that we could not ignore its people when they need us the most.”
FBM was founded in 2001.
Pagcor said in Thursday’s announcement that the regulator had already helped with the distribution in the Philippines of PHP200 million-worth of “essential items” from the licensees of the private-sector casino resorts in Entertainment City, Manila.
Pagcor had done the same regarding PHP150 million-worth of “hospital supplies” from its Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator or “POGO” licensees.
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