The Philippines Extends Measures in Metro Manila

The Philippines has extended the lockdown measures on Metropolitan Manila until 31 January next year.

Extended Measures

On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metropolitan Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the end of January 2021. Mr. Duterte’s statement was released by the country’s official media agency – the Philippine News Agency.

Metropolitan Manila, officially known as the National Capital Region, is a cultural and economic hub of global significance. It is also a thriving gambling market with around 20 large-scale luxurious casinos. The quarantine extension means that Metro Manila’s casinos will remain non-operational or with limited capacity for at least one more month.

The provinces of Batangas, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Isabela will also remain under GCQ for the same time frame, as will the cities of Davao, Iligan, Iloilo, Santiago and Tacloban. Mr. Duterte stated that the remainder of the country would remain in modified GCQ, which features comparatively lighter and less restrictive quarantine measures.

Metro Manila first entered lockdown in March, during the initial explosion of SARS-CoV-2. The measures have been extended multiple times since then. At the same time, the conditions have loosened up as well.

In August, some Philippine casinos were allowed to reopen, although at only 30% capacity and, of course, with much stricter health guidelines.

State of the Market

The pandemic and accompanying safety measures have taken a heavy toll on the global economy. This is especially true for countries with gambling-reliant economies, such as Macau. The special administrative region expects a massive 71.1% year-on-year drop in gambling taxes for 2020. That being said, it is worth mentioning that tax revenue tripled month-on-month in November.

The situation in the Philippines was arguably even more dire – the country’s gambling revenue fell by a whopping 95.7% year-on-year in Q2 2020. However, this was followed by a massive 600% increase in the following quarter. However, if we compare the numbers to Q3 2019 we see a drop of around 70%.

It might take some time for the economy to recover from the devastating blow it received this year. The Philippines has recently taken a more creative route to revive its economy. The country is looking to capitalize on online gambling and e-cockfights.

While e-cockfights do seem promising, online gambling has already proven itself a boon for the global gambling industry. Many countries have turned toward it in some capacity this year. This includes the US market, which is expected to grow even larger next year.

On the polar opposite of things sits Iran, which recently drafted a bill that could make online gambling punishable by death.

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