Philippines Ease Restrictions, Casinos Ready to Swing Back in Action

Manila casinos are ready to welcome back tourists and visitors after the Philippines government eased up COVID-19 restrictions amid falling hospitalizations and overall case numbers last week. The country has downgraded the active Alert Level to a Two from a Three previously.

With this in mind, casinos are now able to start chugging along, opening their sumptuous premises for bigger crowds. Sanitary mandates and protocols would still remain locked in place regardless, the government has warned.

In a statement to the public, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson, Harry Roque, said that the Alert Level of two will be in place throughout November provided that the epidemiological situation does not worsen. There will be frequent reviews carried out on a bi-monthly basis to assess how COVID-19 cases are evolving and whether the government needs to rescind the measures.

With only 22% of the population fully vaccinated, however, the Philippines is not leading the fight against the pandemic. However, the level of new coronavirus cases has slumped from 28,000 in early September to just 2,344 reported infections as of November 5.

Casinos Ready to Scale up Operations

All of this is good news for the country’s economy, its citizens, and not least, the casino industry which is flexing its muscles and ready to reopen. Manila, the country’s capital, is the place where four of the biggest casino resorts operator.

Solaire, Resorts World, Okada, and City of Dreams have been placed on lockdown for the biggest part of the pandemic, reopening in fits and often not too sure whether restarting operations would not be followed by another spell of closures.

According to stakeholders, the government has allowed casinos to reopen their floors at 90% capacity for gaming and at 60% capacity for indoor dining. People who wish to dine outdoors will be able to occupy a venue up to 80% of its capacity.

However, Metro Manila’s casinos have a lot of catching up to do. Their results were almost obliterated in 2020 when the properties suffered severe lockdown protocols and generated $1.31 billion, almost twice as little as a year before that.

VIP customers all but disappeared with travel restrictions making sure to keep most travelers out of the country. While overall vaccination rates have been low, the National Capital Region residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine. That applies to the region’s entire population.

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