Approval for land-based gaming offers job security for casino employees across the country
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) revealed that the agency has submitted an appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Covid-19, to allow the resumption of operations for land-based casinos nationwide.
Inside Asian Gaming asked the agency regarding the possible reopening of Manila casinos and integrated resorts after the announcement that Metro Manila, along with other areas in the country is transitioning from Enhanced Community Quarantine to General Community Quarantine on the 1st of June.
PAGCOR said that they have submitted the request including a list of safety guidelines all operators must follow, which includes wearing facemasks inside the property, social distancing, limiting gaming capacity to only 50 percent on tables and electronic gaming machines and strictly forbidding standing bettors and loiterers on the gaming floor.
The agency also stated that the request be approved once Metro Manila and other areas, downgrades further to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). The announcement to transition to MGCQ is scheduled as early as 16th June but will still depend on the assessment of concerned government agencies.
As told to IAG, “PAGCOR’s legal mandate is to operate as well as regulate the gaming industry, and as we do this, we are able to generate revenues to help in nation building efforts.”
“Presently, our secondary aim is to basically maximize revenue generation with little to no risk of spreading the virus.
“Last month, PAGCOR likewise submitted its appeal to also allow the resumption of land-based gaming operations, with all the proposed health and safety protocols to be implemented. The safety protocols and guidelines prepared by PAGCOR and the Integrated Resorts and Casinos are well-crafted so they are even more secure and safe compared to other businesses that are now in operation.
“Approval of our recommendation lies in the hands of the government’s IATF.”
PAGCOR further added that seeking approval for the resumption of operations for land-based gaming offers job security for casino employees across the country.
“While we await the IATF’s decision on our recommendation and the completion of resumption requirements of POGO operators and service providers, PAGCOR and its licensees are preparing both our facilities and employees for the anticipated reopening,” it said.
Melco’s City of Dreams Manila earlier announced guidelines on health and sanitation while Bloomberry’s Solaire Resort and Casino performed Covid-19 testing for all employees, in preparation for the possible soft reopening.