Fontana Leisure Parks & Casino has refuted reports it was home to an illegal makeshift hospital for Chinese citizens suspected of COVID-19 infection, stating it has, “absolutely no involvement or participation in alleged illegal operations.”
The casino resort, located in the emerging Philippine gaming hub of Clark, was shut down last Tuesday and two men arrested following a raid by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Food and Drug Administration, working alongside the public safety department of local regulatory body, the Clark Development Corporation (CDC).
The illegal hospital, discovered after a tipoff from a “concerned citizen,” is said to have been operating out of a villa on the property.
However, in a written statement sent to Inside Asian Gaming, Fontana Development Corporation said the villa in question has “long been transferred as a residential villa and placed under the exclusive control of” Shidaikeji Technology Corporation, a longtime locator of the Clark Freeport Zone.
The company insisted it has no control over the property or operations within the Shidaikeji villa, but added it had been informed by Shidaikeji that the villa was only being used to attend to its own employees’ needs and not as a COVID-19 clinic. The two individuals arrested have reportedly been released without charge.
Fontana also confirmed to IAG that it had resumed casino operations last September after gaining PAGCOR approval, having been shut down since December 2016 following the arrest of around 1,300 illegal Chinese workers inside the leisure park.
The casino is currently closed in compliance with government-mandated community quarantine measures, with Fontana stating it fully supports the government’s COVID-19 prevention strategy.
“Fontana has zero operations at present, and we are going to resume our casino operations after the lifting of the community quarantine,” the company said.
Fontana Convention Center is currently being used by the government as an isolation and quarantine facility for Patients Under Investigation.