The Philippine casino regulator has confirmed to GGRAsia that all casinos in the Metro Manila area (pictured) – public-sector as well as private-sector ones – have currently suspended gaming operations due to the national government reintroducing a so-called enhanced community quarantine as a Covid-19 countermeasure.
A number of commercial-sector casino resorts within the Entertainment City zone in Metro Manila had this week told GGRAsia they had suspended gaming as well as all non-gaming operations until April 4, the current active period for the enhanced community quarantine, with effect from Monday (March 29). The stricter measures also cover four provinces near to Metro Manila.
Prior to that, on March 22, the national government had announced a ban on non-essential travel in and out of Metro Manila.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) said in response to GGRAsia’s request for clarification of the impact on the industry from the upgraded Covid-19 countermeasures: “With the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ latest declaration placing Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine effective March 29 to April 4, 2021, casino operations in these affected areas are suspended.”
As of Tuesday, the Philippines had recorded 9,296 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours. That took the national tally of infections to 741,181, with 13,191 deaths. The country had 124,680 active cases as of that date.
Full-year 2020 casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) produced by the private-sector casinos in Entertainment City stood at PHP65.7 billion (US$1.35 billion), about 66.5 percent of the PHP98.8 billion generated nationally during that period, Pagcor had said in a February announcement.
The large-scale private-sector Manila resorts had previously been shuttered temporarily for a period from mid-March last year due to the pandemic.
In August last year, the nation’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), had confirmed to GGRAsia that some casino resorts in that country had been allowed to reopen “limited to a maximum of 30 percent capacity” and with strict health countermeasures against Covid-19, albeit only during more relaxed phases of quarantine measures.
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