Andrea Domingo, head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), has confirmed three integrated resorts (IRs) in Manila were allowed to start offering online service for table games and slots.
The IRs in question are Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila and Okada Manila, but it's unclear if they are able to offer digital games only, or if live dealer games are also available, according to GGRAsia.
“It’s all limited because we need to regulate them,” said Domingo. “Not just anyone can play because of non-proliferation and responsible gaming.” Back in December, Domingo also mentioned City of Dreams Manila as a possible contender for a licence to offer online games to domestic players.
The new licence system launched in the Philippines, PIGO (Philippine Inland Gaming Operator), allows operators to offer gaming services to players within the country. It could also potentially offset the losses that POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) licence holders are facing with the closures of the physical casinos.
Last week, Metro Manila, including the Entertainment City zone where major casinos are located, extended its lockdown until 14 May; however, banking group Nomura suggested that even this extension might not be enough.
“The announcement is consistent with our assumption that the modified extended community quarantine will remain in place for an extended period of one to two months, as two weeks are unlikely to sufficiently bring down cases and ease hospital occupancy rates to safer levels,” said the company’s analysts.
The Philippines has a fairly low vaccination rate, with an increasing number of Covid-19 cases, which makes easing restrictions difficult.