Metro Manila Casinos Return To COVID Lockdowns As Cases Spike

As the 2020 coronavirus pandemic finally abated in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte lifted some of the lockdowns that previously caused the temporary closures of Metro Manila’s lucrative Entertainment City integrated resort casinos.

Unfortunately, the Duterte administration this week reinitiated area casino lockdowns as COVID cases began to spike once more.

Reports indicate that many hospitals in the region are overwhelmed and are thus being forced to operate at beyond full capacity.

Dr. Norberto Francisco of the Philippines Lung Center explains the reality of the situation on the ground:

“We are not just full. We are very full. In fact, the hospital has been full for the past two weeks.”

Many other healthcare facilities are in the same boat, with some operating at double or even triple capacity as the virus has mutated to become more infectious.

Naturally, the Duterte administration is taking heat over the increase in new coronavirus cases, albeit the heightened virulence of the new variants was clinically unexpected.

According to Duterte spokesman Harry Roque, “No one could have…foreseen how infectious these new variants are and as a result of which we have these ballooning numbers.”

Of course, that being said, it should be noted that the Philippines has fared comparatively well globally in dealing with the Chinese virus.

Since the outbreak began in January 2020, there have been only 795,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, and only 13,425 deaths have been attributed to the virus. That is a 1.7% death rate for infected patients, among the lowest on record worldwide.

And, it should be noted, this is in a country that’s one of the most population-dense in the world, with over 105 million residents and citizens inhabiting the islands.

By all objective metrics, very few nations have handled the outbreak as consistently well as the Philippines has.

That said, it is unclear whether public lockdowns like those once again affecting Manila casinos are having a positive effect on keeping these numbers so low.

Nevertheless, lockdowns appear to work (whether they actually work or not), so the established mitigation efforts will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

Late last year, after the nation’s gambling industry suffered enormous losses due to COVID closures and the large-scale exodus of POGOs, the Philippines government began contemplating the PIGO initiative, which started to bear fruit in early 2021.

PIGOs, or Philippine Inland Gaming Operators, allow select casinos to open up their slots and table games to online customers.

While access is currently limited to “VIP members” in good standing with PIGO host casinos, the measure was and is a forward-thinking solution for keeping these world-class gambling houses afloat while their retail gaming floors are closed (or, in better times, operating at substantially reduced capacities).

That said, you don’t have to be a VIP to safely and legally gamble online in the Philippines as the local casino district goes back into quarantine.

There are several top-rated offshore casinos that serve Philippine gamblers at just 18 and up, and these services have been offering every imaginable betting market to Filipinos for years.

Reputable sites like BetOnline, MyBookie, Intertops, and others all offer online real-money casino games, sports betting boards, and even tournament poker and horse racing betting.

Basically, they’ve got everything but e-Sabong.

One newcomer to the field – 1XBit Casino – is particularly intriguing, as the legal gambling site exclusively accepts Bitcoin and cryptocurrency deposits to go along with one-click, fully anonymous registration.

Of course, regardless of the legal Philippines online casino you choose, signing up is fast and free, and the hundreds of games and sports betting markets on tap mean that you’ll never run out of options.

Domestic venues may once again be on lockdown, but the best online Philippines casinos will never close their doors to you.

Source: ABC News