Metro Manila, including the Entertainment City zone of large-scale casino resorts – is to stay under so-called modified enhanced community quarantine until May 14, as a Covid-19 countermeasure. The step had been due to expire on Friday (April 30).
A Thursday note from banking group Nomura suggested a two-week extension of restrictions would not be enough to overcome the crisis, citing factors including one of the region’s lowest rates of vaccination roll out.
“The announcement is consistent with our assumption that the modified extended community quarantine will remain in place for an extended period of one to two months, as two weeks are unlikely to sufficiently bring down cases and ease hospital occupancy rates to safer levels,” wrote Nomura analysts Euben Paracuelles and Rangga Cipta.
In a recorded statement issued on Wednesday, Philippine leader President Rodrigo Duterte apologised to the citizens of the National Capital Region and other places affected by the extended restrictions.
A number of the Entertainment City gaming resorts had confirmed in online messages – posted at the time the modified enhanced community quarantine had been imposed until April 30 – that all operations, gaming and non-gaming, would remain suspended as of that time.
On Friday, the front page of Solaire Resort and Casino’s website stated: “In compliance with the modified enhanced community quarantine guidelines issued by the government, we are currently unable to accept bookings and reservations until further notice. Further updates will be released through our social media channels or you may call our hotline…”
Nomura noted in its Thursday memo: “The government reported that around 2 million [Covid-19 vaccine] doses have been administered, which is only about 0.9 percent of the population and one of the lowest in the region (alongside Thailand).”
According to the country’s Department of Health, the Philippines recorded 8,276 new cases of Covid-19 as of Thursday, taking the total of all cases to nearly 1.03 million, of which 69,354 were active. An aggregate of 17,145 deaths had been attributed to the disease as of that date.
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”“The Royal Commission finds Crown is unsuitable to hold a casino licence [in Melbourne] on the basis that it has engaged in conduct that is ‘illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative'”
Report from the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence
State of Victoria, Australia