PAGCOR suspension of casinos follows government measures against COVID-19 spread
Okada Manila, one of the integrated resorts in Philippines’ Entertainment City, posted an operating loss of JPY 1.72 billion (US$16 million) mainly due to the suspension of its operations since mid-March of this year.
Regulator PAGCOR announced suspension of all operations for all PAGCOR operated and regulated casinos, including integrated resorts and other gaming venues in 15 March, following the directive of the Philippines government as a precautionary measure against the then increasing Covid-19 cases in the country.
Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC), Okada Manila’s parent company, said net sales are at JPY 15.7 billion (US$145.8 million), a 6.3 percent decline in net sales for the first quarter of this year.
Per its first quarter financial results published on Friday, Universal posted a 4.4 percent decline in VIP rolling turnover at its Philippines property to PHP 125.24 billion (US$2.48 million) while a 25.4 percent decrease in mass table drop was recorded at PHP 3.5 billion (US$69.2 million).
Gross gaming revenue for the quarter was also down to 9.3 percent at PHP 8.64 billion (US$171 million).
Before the suspension, gaming operations for mass and VIP are performing well due to domestic patronage. Hotel occupancy was also very high during the first quarter until the suspension has been announced.
Universal said that it is currently creating a business resumption plan for Okada Manila in preparation for possible reopening in a date set by the Philippine government.
Last week, it was reported that Okada Manila will reduce its workforce through a retrenchment program due to the financial burdens brought about by the lockdown.
Philippines president announced easing of lockdown restrictions starting 1 June, and allowing full operation for select non-essential industries. However, casinos, integrated resorts and other entertainment venues are still not allowed to operate.
Earlier in May, offshore online casino operations (POGO) were given go signal to operate following a strict set of rules and guidelines prior to reopening. As of last week, POGO companies are in the process of completing requirements which includes updating payment for taxes.
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