Manila Casinos Facing More Losses As Philippines Announces New Lockdown
The introduction of stricter movement restrictions in Metro Manila is causing problems for local gaming venues and casinos. The enhanced community quarantine that President Rodrigo Duterte declared started on March 29 and will go on to April 4.
The Entertainment City zone is located in the middle of Metro Manila and as a result, all of the top casinos in Manila have gone into lockdown mode.
At the very least, gamblers in Manila will not be able to access these locations until April 4. City of Dreams Manila has already confirmed that it will only resume operations after April 4. The strict rules of the ECQ ban mass gatherings completely, which makes public venues for gambling inappropriate. Additionally, there will be a curfew of 6 PM to 5 AM and all non-essential businesses are shut down.
In the past, gaming venues were allowed to continue operations in limited form. This was as long as social distancing measures were followed. However, the rules are stricter for this short quarantine and every non-essential business is closing down.
Okada Manila says that it is showing solidarity with the efforts to fight COVID-19 and is suspending its operations until April 4. Solaire Resort and Casino is another affected location and will comply with ECQ rules. Additionally, all the shops and restaurants on the Solaire property will be closed at the same time.
Only Resorts World Manila has not made a statement on its operations during the ECQ,
COVID-19 Spike Causes Casino Shutdown
This is not the first time that the major casinos in Metro Manila shut down. All of the casinos in Manila shutdown during the 2020 lockdown and suffered significant financial losses and had hoped to operate online.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) which is the main gambling regulator in the country said in August 2020 that casinos could open if they operated at 30 percent of their full capacity. Casino operators that opened their doors were obligated to implement strict measures against infection. They were looking to slowly get back to normal in 2021 but a spike in COVID-19 cases means more revenue losses.
The ECQ was declared because of the increasing spread of COVID-19 in the country. Recently, a new high of 9,475 new cases of COVID was reported in a single day. At the time of this writing, the Philippines has 721,892 COVID cases in the country.