Mar 13, 2020 Newsdesk Latest News, Philippines, Top of the deck
The promoter of the Okada Manila casino resort (pictured) in the Philippine capital has implemented “additional precautionary measures” on its gaming floor, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Preventive measures are additionally being applied to the entire property, the firm said in a Thursday press release.
The statement from Okada Manila came on the same day that the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the capital region would be on a lockdown for a month to help contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus associated with Covid-19, which was classified as a pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organization.
In a televised briefing in Manila, Mr Duterte said the Philippines would also restrict entry for travellers from countries with local transmission and suspend domestic travel to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14, subject to daily review.
President Duterte said additionally that work in the executive branch of government would be suspended for a month, while he encouraged private companies to adopt flexible work arrangements.
After his speech, the country’s Department of Health announced that three more people had died because of Covid-19, taking the total to five out of the 52 confirmed cases in the Philippines.
In Thursday’s release, Okada Manila said it would be introducing several precautionary measures at its gaming floor. They included: a “no-standing and four players only” rule at all gaming tables; a “one seat apart” policy for slot machines; and sanitising of surfaces on electronic gaming machines every two hours. Other measures that had already been implemented included body temperature checks at all entry points of the property, and frequent disinfection of all areas of the complex.
Okada Manila’s senior vice-president for premium marketing, Shirley Tam, was quoted in the release as saying that the measures were meant to allow the property’s patrons to “play and be safe from the virus at the same time.”
The statement also quoted Okada Manila’s chief operations officer Byron Yip as saying: “The safety and well-being of our patrons is our topmost priority. This is why we are implementing these additional measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to our integrated resort.”
Despite the health alert, February proved to be a strong month to Okada Manila, in terms of casino gross gaming revenue (GGR). Such GGR was nearly PHP3.29 billion (US$64.2 million), up 38.2 percent from February 2019, according to preliminary data released on Wednesday by the resort’s parent, Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp.
VIP table games GGR in February rose by 79.8 percent year-on-year, to just above PHP1.74 billion. The VIP rolling chip volume stood at nearly PHP55.83 billion, an increase of 90.3 percent from the prior-year period.
Mass-market table games GGR at Okada Manila in February fell 13.7 percent year-on-year, to PHP603 million. Electronic gaming machine GGR expanded by 32.5 percent to PHP941 million.
Okada Manila’s aggregate revenue for February rose 36.4 percent from the prior-year period, to PHP3.47 billion. February’s adjusted segment earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 48.5 percent year-on-year, to PHP536 million. Adjusted EBITDA was however down 31.4 percent sequentially.
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