As COVID-19 spreads, PAGCOR shuts casinos and POGOs temporarily
PAGCOR suspends all gaming operations
MANILA – The government-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) suspended all gaming operations nationwide effective immediately.
In a statement issued late Sunday afternoon, PAGCOR said they opted to close their operations in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for a community quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The suspension applies to land-based casinos (both PAGCOR-owned and operated as well as all licensed and integrated resort-casinos, electronic games aka eGames, bingo, (traditional and electronic), sports betting, poker and slot machine clubs as well as other activities regulated by PAGCOR and will last until the National Capital Region community quarantine ends.
However, in accordance with Executive Secretary Salvador S. Medialdea’s directive, restaurants and food outlets will remain open. Hotels where the casinos and gaming facilities are housed may still accommodate guests, venues and in the licensed gaming properties that it regulates.
The measure is said to ensure both the safety of the gaming public and customers, eventuality, the general public, the statement read.
Regarding the controversial Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations known as POGOs, only a minimum number of workers will be allowed in their workplaces. The rest of POGO workers will be restricted to their living quarters where social distancing and quarantine protocols will be observed.
PAGCOR did not disclose the number of POGO workers in the Metro Manila nor the number of casinos and employees affected by the ban.
All areas outside the NCR, as soon as the local government declared community quarantine, PAGCOR operations in these areas will be suspended too. (Melo M. Acuña)