PAGCOR suspends gaming operations in Manila

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) said it was suspending all gaming operations in Manila following President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to put Metro Manila under community quarantine due to Covid-19.

The suspension applies to land-based casinos (both PAGCOR-owned and operated as well as all licensed and integrated resort-casinos), electronic games, bingo (traditional and electronic), sports betting, poker and slot machine clubs, and other activities regulated by PAGCOR, and will last for the duration of the National Capital Region (NCR) community quarantine imposed by the government, the regulator said in a statement Sunday.

PAGCOR says operations outside of the capital region will also be suspended if the government declares an extension of the quarantine measures. 

However, restaurants and food outlets can remain open and the hotels can accept guests, but can’t run large functions. 

As regards Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO), only a minimum number of workers will be allowed in their workplaces. The rest of POGO workers will be restricted to their respective living quarters where they will observe social distancing and quarantine protocols.

“PAGCOR believes in the seriousness of the COVID 19 situation. Hence, it supports the government’s extreme effort in containing the virus,” it said. This measure is intended to ensure the safety of both gaming employees and customers and eventually, the general public.

The Philippines was Asia’s best-performing gaming jurisdiction last year and was expected to continue to expand in 2020.