GGRAsia has seen confirmation from several large private-sector casino resorts in Manila’s Entertainment City zone that gaming has restarted at those properties, following the relaxation of lockdown rules in the capital region.
Manila’s casino resorts were subject to shutdown as a Covid-19 countermeasure, starting from August 6.
Okada Manila, operated by a unit of Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Inc, told GGRAsia on Monday via email after our enquiry: “Okada Manila abides by the IATF’s Alert Level 3 guidelines for gaming establishments. As per the guidelines, casinos are allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity.”
The IATF, or Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, is the Philippine government body tackling Covid-19 in that nation.
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary, Harry Roque, said in a media briefing that the National Capital Region’s Covid-19 countermeasures were being downgraded to “Alert Level 3” from “Alert Level 4” beginning on Saturday (October 16), until October 31.
But he noted that – as of that moment – under Level 3, casino operations were among a number of activities prohibited, along with other gaming establishments, “except as may be authorised by the IATF, or the Office of the President.”
Solaire Resort and Casino (pictured in a file photo), promoted by a unit of Bloomberry Resorts Corp, said in a help desk reply: “The casino is open and operating on a limited capacity in compliance with the government’s guidelines on the General Community Quarantine Alert Level 3.”
City of Dreams Manila, run by a unit of global casino group Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, said in an update on its website: “With Metro Manila placed under the less restrictive Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31, 2021, we are pleased to implement the new government guidelines that have increased the allowable dining capacities in restaurants and the reopening of other facilities.”
That included operating capacity at “75 percent in the casino, regardless of the patrons’ vaccination status”.
City of Dreams Manila’s update noted that under Level 3, a number of non-gaming activities had also resumed operations at various capacities. They included 40 percent capacity for indoor dining, but “only for the fully vaccinated above 18 years old but not over 65 years old”.
Resorts World Manila had not responded to an enquiry on the topic from GGRAsia, by the time this story went online. The property is run by Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, a venture between Manila-listed Alliance Global Group Inc and Hong Kong-listed casino cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
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Amount that each Macau casino operator paid for the circa six-month extension of their respective contract