Casinos located within Manila’s IRs have been granted permission to continue operating at 75% capacity following reports of an order for casinos in the Philippine capital city to close from 3 to 15 January 2022 under a revised COVID-19 alert level.
As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Manila’s alert level was this week raised from Level 2 to Level 3 as a precursor to an expected increase in new cases from the arrival of the Omicron variant. The number of daily cases nationwide has already grown from just 318 a week ago to 4,084 on Tuesday, with authorities expecting the tally to peak at the end of January.
Under Alert Level 3, the government announced over the weekend, activities considered high-risk for transmission would not be allowed, including “casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments, except those that will be allowed by the IATF or Office of the President.”
Some operators confirmed to IAG that they had been granted permission to maintain casino operations at 75% capacity.
Resorts World Manila said it was also operating its casino at 75% capacity and that this applied to its main gaming floor.
All operators IAG spoke to said their facilities would be open only to fully vaccinated individuals, with indoor dining, hotel gyms, spas, MICE venues and hair salons all operating at 40% capacity. Outdoor dining is operating at 60% capacity, COD said.
As per an advisory sent by the Department of Tourism on Tuesday, certain tourism establishments in Manila are permitted to continue operating at Alert Level 3 provided they “diligently check the vaccination status of their respective patrons/guests to ensure that only the vaccinated are allowed access to the property.”
Manila’s casinos were previously granted permission to reopen to the public at 30% capacity on 16 October when the government reduced the NCR’s alert level from Level 4 to Level 3. Casinos had been closed since 6 August, although invited VIP guests had been allowed to enter from 16 September.
The Alert Level was lowered from Level 3 to Level 2 on 5 November 2021 before being raised again this week.