Manila temporarily closes its casinos to fight the spread of coronavirus

In the Philippines and the nation’s gaming regulator has reportedly ordered the temporary shuttering of all casinos in metropolitan Manila in an attempt to help stop the spread of a coronavirus strain that has so far killed twelve locals.

According to a Sunday report from Inside Asian Gaming, the move from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) comes after the country’s President, Rodrigo Duterte, placed Manila into a ‘community quarantine’ until April 14 and suspended all land, air and sea access to the city of some twelve million inhabitants.

Culinary exemptions:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that the temporary move follows last month’s similar 15-day shutdown of the 39 casinos in Macau and also applies to every one of Manila’s many sportsbetting, electronic gaming, bingo and poker clubs. However, the shuttering has not been extended to the giant conurbation’s restaurants and hotels including those attached to gaming establishments and will only be extended to other areas of the country if deemed necessary by local authorities.

Momentous measure:

First recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan in early-December, the highly-contagious coronavirus strain is officially known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and causes pneumonia-like symptoms such as high fevers and coughs. The Manila lockdown has moreover reportedly led to the closure of all local schools alongside the appearance of checkpoints manned by members of the police and military.

Online omission:

It was additionally reported that the suspension has not yet been rolled out to include the nation’s collection of Manila-based iGaming operators although PAGCor is said to have asked firms holding a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license to reduce the size of their workforces and restrict all others ‘to their respective living quarters where they will observe social distancing and quarantine protocols.’

Reportedly read a statement from PAGCor…

“This measure is intended to ensure the safety of both gaming employees and customers and, eventually, the general public.”

Closure counsel:

For its part and GGRAsia reported that a trio of locally-listed casino operators subsequently filed official warnings so as to advise investors that the temporary Manila stoppage is likely set to negatively impact their financial results moving forward.

Premium Leisure Corporation, which is responsible in partnership with Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited for the 938-room City of Dreams Manila integrated casino resort, reportedly notified shareholders earlier today that the month-long shuttering ‘may stall’ its revenues from gaming. This was purportedly followed by a filing from the firm behind the nearby Solaire Resort and Casino, Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, that the coronavirus measures will likely ‘reduce and adversely affect the volume of people coming to the Philippines and metro Manila from China and other countries or areas’ so as to ‘adversely affect’ its business.

Alliance Global Group Incorporated runs the Resorts World Manila casino in partnership with Genting Hong Kong Limited via the pair’s Travellers International Hotel Group Incorporated concern and it reportedly declared that the Manila shutdown ‘will impact various business segments of the group operating in metro Manila and other areas implementing a community quarantine’.

Further fall-out:

The operator behind the giant Okada Manila integrated casino resort, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated, reportedly released a statement of its own advising investors that it has additionally shuttered the 993-room facility’s Cove Manila nightclub and The Fountain water feature. The firm, which is a subordinate of Japanese conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corporation, purportedly also proclaimed that the remainder of the venue’s non-gaming attractions are to remain open although entering visitors will now be required to undergo thermal scanning.

Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated moreover pronounced that it will be instituting a program of ‘round-the-clock sanitation across’ Okada Manila and is to have a ‘dedicated team of emergency medical personnel and vehicles on standby’ for any guests who may feel unwell or develop coronavirus symptoms.

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