Manila Casinos Welcome Back Guests, as Philippines Eases Capacity Limits

Posted on: November 8, 2021, 09:17h. 

Last updated on: November 8, 2021, 11:42h.

Manila casinos are finally able to open their doors to meaningful numbers of guests. That’s after the Philippines government decided to ease their operating restrictions in the wake of decreasing COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations.

Manila casinos Philippines gaming COVID-19
Resorts World Manila, shown here, is one of four casinos in the Philippines capital region. The casinos recently received word that they can begin welcoming more guests, as capacity restrictions ease. (Image: Wikipedia)

Harry Roque, the spokesperson for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, announced last Friday that the capital’s metro area has been downgraded from Alert Level 3 to Level 2. The latest COVID-19 status means casinos can greatly increase their operational capacities throughout their resort complexes.

Roque said the alert level assignment will be in place through the end of the month, so long as a new spike in coronavirus cases is not experienced. Beginning December 1, the presidential spokesperson added that alert level reviews will occur on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Manila and the Philippines have finally managed to get COVID-19 somewhat under control. The recent easing to Level 2 comes after the National Capital Region reported a drop in new coronavirus cases from nearly 28,000 on September 9 to 2,344 new positive results counted on November 5.

Casino Resorts Ready for Business

Manila is home to four integrated resort casinos, which collectively account for the lion’s share of gaming revenue that the Filipino gaming industry wins each year. City of Dreams, Solaire, Okada, and Resorts World are anxious to get back to business after more than a year and a half of closures and severely limited capacity protocols.

City of Dreams Manila, owned and operated by Melco Resorts, has revealed the latest capacity limits permitted by the government. The integrated resort says indoor dining venues can seat up to 60 percent of its fire code capacity, while outdoor dining areas can go higher to 80 percent.

The casino is allowed to be occupied up to 90 percent of its legal fire code capacity. The resort’s gym, spa, and salon can be 60 percent full.

The Manila casinos were subject to extensive and lengthy lockdowns throughout much of 2020. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated by the four casino resorts in Metro Manila dropped more than 60 percent in 2020 to PHP65.7 billion (US$1.31 billion). Some of that revenue was generated online, as the four casinos were permitted to conduct iGaming for its known foreign VIP customers.

Duterte’s single six-year term expires next June. Boxing superstar and current Filipino Sen. Manny Pacquiao is thought to be a front-runner for the nation’s highest office.

Cases Dropping, Jabs Increasing

COVID-19 conditions are finally improving in Manila. The progress coincides with more Filipinos receiving coronavirus vaccines.

This past weekend was the highest number of weekend COVID-19 vaccinations the Philippines has recorded. More than 462,000 Filipinos received jabs between November 5 through November 7.

To date, approximately 64.1 million vaccines have been administered nationwide. In Manila, 98.9 percent of National Capital Region residents have received at least one COVID-19 vax dose.

The vaccine willingness of our countrymen to vaccinate is increasing,” said Roque.

The Philippines is organizing a “National Vaccination Day” for later this month to encourage vaccination-hesitant individuals to step up and get their jabs.