Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has issued new guidelines to operators across the Philippines that allow for an increase in the number of players allowed to be seated at poker tables.
According to a memorandum issued Monday, new amendments to the Health and Safety Standards for Resumption of Operations of Gaming Sites include an increase in allowed players pending adherence to certain requirements, namely strict compliance with one meter distance between seats and installation of acrylic walls and barriers between each seating position.
The Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department and the Auxiliary Services Department must inspect and certify all acrylic barriers for compliance and sufficiency, it added.
While player numbers are still limited by the one meter rule, PAGCOR has also proposed an innovative solution by allowing operators to “refurbish, widen and/or customize” their poker tables including assembling two existing poker tables into one to form a single large table that will count as one active table.
Poker is hugely popular in the Philippines, with dozens of private poker clubs across Manila and substantial poker rooms located at Resorts World Manila and Okada Manila. The Philippines is also home to the long-running Asian Poker Tour (APT).