Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) classification in Metro Manila for the whole of September in a move which paves the way for the city’s casinos to expand capacity under a new directive issued by gaming regulator PAGCOR.
As revealed by Inside Asian Gaming earlier this week, PAGCOR has granted permission for casinos within areas under GCQ to operate at 30% capacity – a measure that extends to integrated resorts located in and around Manila’s Entertainment City precinct.
“Integrated resorts and casinos which obtained permits from their respective local governments are allowed to open on trial run under the strictest health and safety protocols,” the regulator told IAG.
“Those located in areas under lockdown or enhanced community quarantine may not open. Operations are limited to a maximum of 30% capacity.”
On Monday, Duterte maintained the GCQ classification for Manila as well as nearby provinces Bulacan and Batangas, while the rest of the country is now under the less restrictive Modified GCQ. The classification will remain in place until 30 September.
While Manila casinos have been officially closed since 15 March, operators had previously been granted permission by PAGCOR to run some limited “dry run” gaming operations.
“In anticipation of the declaration of a more relaxed General Community Quarantine, gaming machines, processes, digital applications (old and new) and other operational systems are being tested,” PAGCOR told IAG in July.
In its 2Q20 results announcement earlier this month, Solaire stated that, “Such dry run operations, which involve only in-house and select invited guests, are a means for Solaire to fine-tune its services in accordance with new normal health and safety protocols.”