The head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), Andrea Domingo, confirmed that three integrated resorts (IRs) in Manila have been given permission to begin offering online table games and slots.
Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, and Okada Manila are the IRs in question. But it’s unclear whether they can only offer digital games or if live dealer games are also available, according to GGRAsia.
“Everything is at a limit because we need to regulate them,” Domingo explained. “Due to non-proliferation and responsible gaming, not just anyone can play.”
The Philippines’ new PIGO (Philippine Inland Gaming Operator) license system allows operators to provide gaming services only within the country. It may also help offset the losses that POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) license holders are experiencing.
Metro Manila, including the Entertainment City zone, where major casinos operate, extended its lockdown until 14 May last week. However, banking group Nomura says that even this extension may not be sufficient.
“The announcement is consistent with our expectation that the extended quarantine would stay in effect for an extended period of one to two months. Two weeks are unlikely to adequately reduce cases and ease hospital occupancy rates to safer levels,” the company’s analysts stated.
With a growing number of Covid-19 cases and a relatively low vaccination rate, relaxing restrictions in the Philippines is difficult.