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Manila gaming temporarily suspended their operations due to pandemic

A number of gaming venues in Metro Manila have temporarily suspended their operations until at least April 4, due to the introduction of stricter restrictions as a countermeasure to the spread of Covid-19. Metro Manila is home to the Entertainment City zone of large-scale private-sector Philippine casino resorts.

On Saturday, the country’s leader, President Rodrigo Duterte, had ordered a period of so-called enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces from March 29 to April 4, as the country struggles to contain a new surge in Covid-19 infections.

Philippine casino resort City of Dreams Manila (pictured) has confirmed to GGRAsia that its gaming operations are among the activities temporarily suspended there until April 4.

“Hospitality, gaming and retail operations are closed temporarily until April 4 for the duration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces,” the City of Dreams spokesperson said on Monday, in response to GGRAsia’s enquiry.

The venue is run by a unit of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.

Under the stricter rules in effect from Monday, all mass gatherings have been be banned, night-time curfews from 6pm to 5am will be enforced, and non-essential businesses will be shut.

GGRAsia has also approached the other large-scale casino resorts in Metro Manila, asking them to confirm that gaming is among suspended operations. Those properties had previously been permitted to run limited gaming operations with social-distancing measures in place, albeit only during more relaxed phases of quarantine measures.

Okada Manila, run by a unit of Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp, said in a message on Monday to GGRAsia, that “in solidarity with all efforts to curb the rise of Covid-19 cases,” the  resort had made the move to “temporarily suspend its property-wide operations,” from Sunday at 8pm, until April 4.

GGRAsia is still awaiting a reply from Resorts World Manila, promoted by Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.

In an emailed statement, Solaire Resort and Casino, promoted by Bloomberry Resorts Corp, reiterated a message posted on its website: “In compliance with the enhanced community quarantine implemented by the government, Solaire is not operational at this time.”

It added: “We have temporarily suspended our gaming operations until the enhanced community quarantine is completely lifted or adjusted.” It added that the shops at Solaire, and its restaurants, were “also closed for operations”.

The large-scale 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.

As of this Sunday, the country’s Department of Health stated on its website that the nation had recorded 9,475 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours.

That took the tally to 721,892. Of those, 105,568 were active, while 603,154 cases involved people that had since recovered. The Philippines had recorded as of Sunday, 13,170 deaths as a result of Covid-19.