PAGCOR suspends casino operations, limits POGO work amid Metro Manila quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) —  The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on Sunday ordered the suspension of all casino and other gaming operations in Metro Manila amid the increasing threat of coronavirus disease or COVID-19 in the country.

Land-based casinos, electronic games, bingo, sports betting, poker, and slot machine clubs operations will be suspended immediately. PAGCOR said the order will remain until the duration of the community quarantine imposed on Metro Manila.

PAGCOR said Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) will remain, but with limitations. The state-run agency said only a minimum number of workers will be allowed in their workplaces. Latest available government data show that POGO service providers have about 108,914 employees.

The rest of POGO workers will be restricted to their living quarters where they will observe social distancing and quarantine protocols, PAGCOR said.

"PAGCOR believes in the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. Hence, it supports the government’s extreme effort in containing the virus. For its part, the state-run gaming agency has decided to prohibit public gatherings in its gaming venues and in the licensed gaming properties that it regulates," it announced on its Facebook page.

It added that operations of PAGCOR properties will likewise be suspended in areas outside Metro Manila if the local government declares a community quarantine.