Ipinatigil na ng Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) ang operasyon ng lahat ng mga casino ng Metro Manila.
Sa anunsiyo ng PAGCOR, sakop ng suspension ang lahat ng "land-based casinos (both PAGCOR-owned and operated as well as all licensed and integrated resort-casinos), electronic game (eGames), bingo (traditional and electronic), sports betting, poker and slot machine clubs, and other activities regulated by PAGCOR."
Mananatili raw ang suspension habang may community quarantine sa National Capital Region (NCR).
Ang anunsiyo ay lumabas sa PAGCOR official Facebook page ngayong tanghali ng Linggo, March 15, kasabay ng simula ng community quarantine sa NCR, o mas kilala sa tawag na Metro Manila.
Nakalagay sa pahayag ng PAGCOR: “In line with the instruction of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to put Metro Manila under community quarantine to prevent the further spread of the Novel Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is suspending all gaming operations effective immediately."
Samantala, mananatili raw bukas ang mga kainan sa loob ng mga casino at iba pang gaming sites.
Dagdag sa pahayag, “In accordance with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea’s directive, restaurants and food outlets within the gaming areas may remain open.
"Hotels where the casinos and gaming facilities are housed may continue to accommodate guests, but are discouraged from hosting large functions and events.”
Ayon pa sa ahensiya, makakatulong ang hakbang nilang ito upang hindi na lalong kumalat pa ang virus na dala ng COVID-19.
Saad ng ahensiya, “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.
“This measure is intended to ensure the safety of both gaming employees and customers and eventually, the general public.”
Lilimitahan naman ang mga trabahador ng Philippine offshore gaming operations o POGO.
Sabi ng PAGCOR statement: “As regards Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO), only a minimum number of workers will be allowed in their workplaces.
"The rest of POGO workers will be restricted to their respective living quarters where they will observe social distancing and quarantine protocols."
Hindi nakaligtaang banggitin ng PAGCOR ang naging kontribusyon nito sa government coffers.
“Prior to the suspension of operations, PAGCOR has remitted P2 billion to the Social-Civic Projects Fund (SCPF) under the Office of the President for the Department of Health’s procurement of personnel protective equipment (PPE) and operating expenses of the Bureau of Quarantine and support for the tests being conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)."
Dagdag rin nito: "It is also in the process of procuring PPE and food for frontline workers and communities affected by the pandemic.
Sa labas naman ng NCR, sabi ng PAGCOR na ititigil din ang kanilang operasyon: "all areas outside NCR, once the local government declares community quarantine, operations of PAGCOR properties will likewise be suspended.”