Asia-Pacific Gaming

Manila Casinos Reopening at 30 Percent Capacity, Operators Report $271M Loss in Q2

Integrated resorts (IR) in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, can begin reopening effective immediately, but at a maximum capacity of 30 percent.

City of Dreams Manila will soon be less empty, as the property moves closer to reopening. (Image: Melco Resorts)

The news comes from Melco Resorts, one of the four IR casino operators in Manila. The company owns the City of Dreams in Entertainment City. In Melco’s six-month interim financial filing made with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the casino operator says it has received clearance from gaming authorities in the Philippines to resume its business at City of Dreams.

“On August 24, 2020, the Philippine government allowed PAGCOR-licensed casinos in areas covered by the General Community Quarantine to operate at 30 percent operational capacity,” the financial release disclosed. “City of Dreams Manila is preparing for the resumption of its normal operations in accordance with the terms and conditions of this new guideline.”

PAGCOR, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, a regulator and operator of state-run casinos, has yet to announce that commercial casinos can indeed resume their operations formally.

Financial Damage Done

The second-quarter results for the four Manila IRs are in. And with their casinos closed throughout the April through June period. The results were, as expected, dismal.

Solaire reported a loss of $96.2 million, Resorts World $75.9 million, Okada $49.9 million, and City of Dreams $49.4 million. The four properties collectively lost $271.4 million.

The Filipino government ordered the casinos to close on March 16. Though Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed PAGCOR to allow Manila casinos to reopen, the four operators say it will take some time before they can adjust their gaming floors to adhere to the government’s health safety regulations.

Melco, in addition to its Manila property, owns and operates IRs in Macau. Other than a 15-day shutdown in February, its casino floors in the Chinese Special Administrative Region have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent decisions to ease entry restrictions into the enclave have improved business, Melco founder and CEO Lawrence Ho says.

“Despite the pandemic-derived travel bans, restrictions, and quarantine requirements that have adversely affected the performance of gaming revenues, we are excited to see some early signs of returning to normal operations in our integrated resorts,” Ho explained.

30 Percent Capacity

Macau and Las Vegas/Nevada — the world’s two largest gaming markets — are both allowing its casinos to operate at 50 percent capacity. A 30 percent cap further restricts the Manila casinos. But there should be plenty of available gaming positions for those who venture to Entertainment City.

100 Percent Capacity                                30 Percent Capacity

Okada: 3,000 slots / 500 tables                900 / 150

CoD: 2,300 slots / 300 tables                    690 / 90

Solaire: 1,620 slots / 300 tables                486 / 90

RW: 1,500 slots / 300 tables                      450 / 90

Even at 30 percent maximum capacity, the four Manila casinos will still collectively offer 2,526 slot machines and 420 table games.

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with Casino.org in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email: devin.oconnor@casino.org

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