Casino and gaming operations across Manila have suspended operations for the next week, and possibly beyond, after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte put the National Capital Region (NCR) back under strict Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) measures.
Currently scheduled to remain in place from 29 March to 4 April, the resumption of ECQ for the first time since being lifted last August comes after the Philippines recorded 9,595 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday – its second highest daily tally on record. Another 9,475 were recorded on Sunday.
The ECQ measures, covering Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, allow for essential services to continue but prevent gatherings of more than 10 people and restrict movements outside of households including curfews from 6pm to 5am each day.
Manila’s integrated resort operators contacted by Inside Asian Gaming on Monday confirmed that gaming operations had been suspended for the next week with a representative of Resorts World Manila stating it was currently closed until 4 April but anticipated a likely extension. The representative also said all operators had been told to close their main entrances.
Solaire Resort & Casino told IAG, “In compliance with the Enhanced Community Quarantine implemented by the government, Solaire is not operational at this time.
“We have temporarily suspended our gaming operations until the enhanced community quarantine is completely lifted or adjusted. The Shoppes at Solaire and restaurants are also closed for operations.
“We at Solaire implement the highest standards of health and safety protocols following international guidelines and local government directives to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Okada Manila offered a similar statement which read, “In solidarity with all efforts to curb the rise of COVID 19 cases, the integrated resort will temporarily suspend its property-wide operations [until] 4 April, 2021.
“During the government-mandated Enhanced Community Quarantine, everyone is strongly urged to prioritize their safety by staying at home and practicing all precautions. Staying vigilant and well-informed is also of utmost importance at this time.
“Okada Manila will work closely with the authorities, continue implementing safety and sanitation protocols in the property, and monitor the situation to help ensure that the integrated resort stays a safe space upon the return of our guests and team members.”
City of Dreams Manila said it has “closed operations throughout the property until 4 April or until the ECQ period is lifted by the government.”
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) confirmed Monday that it has also suspended operations in affected areas until 4 April.
The resumption of ECQ measures comes in Manila comes just over 12 months since gaming regulator PAGCOR first announced the suspension of gaming operations across the NCR on 15 March 2020. Those restrictions remained in place for five months before the introduction of the less stringent Modified ECQ in August 2020.