The Philippines Unveils a New Look post Shutdowns

Lee R. - September 15, 2020

Testing and procedural adaptations distinguish the complexion of the new regulation in the Philippines.

The President of the Philippines has approved legislation that will open the door for long-awaited expansion of casinos in the nation's capital, at an interesting time.

Paving the Legislation

The move is paved specifically by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) classification in Metro Manila for the entirety of September, opening the door for casinos to continue to expand in Manila in accordance with a new directive issued by gaming regulator PAGCOR.

New Permissions

The new permissions extended by PAGCOR apply to casinos within GCQ to zones to operate at 30% capacity, and are directives which extend to integrated resorts located in and around the highly sought after Manila’s Entertainment City precinct.

Scope of Permissions

The new permission will allows Integrated Resorts and casinos with permits from their respective local governments to open on a trial basis “under the strictest health and safety protocols.”

Excepted Areas

President Duterte designated the GCQ classification as applicable to Manila and neighbouring provinces Bulacan and Batangas, with the remainder of the country under a less restrictive Modified GCQ plan, with said classifications remaining in effect until minimum of 30 September.

Areas under lockdown or “enhanced community quarantine” would not be permitted to open, with all operation limited to 30% capacity.

Dry Run Testing

Manila casinos have been closed since March 15th, with only select “dry run” gaming operations being allowed by PAGCOR for in-house and select invite operators.

The dry runs were conducted according to PAGCOR in anticipation of a more relaxed General Community Quarantine, and the runs consisted of tests of gaming machines; processes; digital applications (old and new) and further operational systems.

Developing Protocols

Resorts company Solaire further clarified that the dry tun operation enabled the IR player to
“fine-tune its services in accordance with new normal health and safety protocols.”


What we see here is that the Philippines never abandoned casinos or gave up, but took the time of initial covid shutdowns to test for the future of the current era. President Duterte's new directive reopening and expanding casino play in the nation's capital will go a long way to determining if the adapted Philippines approach can overcome the general industry impact of Covid that is felt globally.

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