Manila Casinos Reopening at 30 Percent Capacity, Operators Report $271M Loss in Q2
Integrated resorts (IR) in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, can begin reopening effective immediately, but at a maximum capacity of 30 percent.
The news comes from Melco Resorts, one of the four IR casino operators in Manila. The company owns City of Dreams in Entertainment City. In Melco’s six-month interim financial filing made with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the casino operator says it has received clearance from gaming authorities in the Philippines to resume its business at City of Dreams.
On August 24, 2020, the Philippine government allowed PAGCOR-licensed casinos in areas covered by the General Community Quarantine to operate at 30 percent operational capacity,” the financial release disclosed. “City of Dreams Manila is preparing for the resumption of its normal operations in accordance with the terms and conditions of this new guideline.”
PAGCOR — the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, a regulator and operator of state-run casinos — has yet to formally announce that commercial casinos can indeed resume their operations.
Financial Damage Done
The second quarter results for the four Manila IRs are in — and with their casinos closed throughout the April through June period — the results were as expected: dismal.
Solaire reported a loss of $96.2 million, Resorts World $75.9 million, Okada $49.9 million, and City of Dreams $49.4 million. The four properties collectively lost $271.4 million.
The Filipino government ordered the casinos to close on March 16. Though Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed PAGCOR to allow Manila casinos to reopen, the four operators say it will take some time before they can adjust their gaming floors to adhere to the government’s health safety regulations.
Melco, which in addition to its Manila property, owns and operates IRs in Macau. Other than a 15-day shutdown in February, its casino floors in the Chinese Special Administrative Region have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent decisions to ease entry restrictions into the enclave have improved business, Melco founder and CEO Lawrence Ho says.
“Despite the pandemic-derived travel bans, restrictions and quarantine requirements have adversely affected the performance of gaming revenues, we are excited to see some early signs of returning to normal operations in our integrated resorts,” Ho explained.
30 Percent Capacity
Macau and Las Vegas/Nevada — the world’s two largest gaming markets — are both allowing its casinos to operate at 50 percent capacity. A 30 percent cap further restricts the Manila casinos, but there should be plenty of available gaming positions for those who venture to Entertainment City.
100 Percent Capacity 30 Percent Capacity
Okada: 3,000 slots / 500 tables 900 / 150
CoD: 2,300 slots / 300 tables 690 / 90
Solaire: 1,620 slots / 300 tables 486 / 90
RW: 1,500 slots / 300 tables 450 / 90
Even at 30 percent maximum capacity, the four Manila casinos will still collectively offer 2,526 slot machines and 420 table games.