The Philippines has allowed a land-based casino to accept bets online and is reviewing two other requests in a move that could help operators mitigate losses from the pandemic. Gaming stocks rose.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has approved the application of Bloomberry Resorts Corp.’s Solaire Resort and Casino, president Alfredo Lim said in mobile-phone messages. Solaire’s system will still undergo testing by the regulator, the agency clarified in a subsequent statement. City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila have also filed their applications, which are now under evaluation, the regulator said.
The gaming regulator’s decision will help Manila’s integrated casino resorts “survive and get through the pandemic until they are allowed by government to fully operate,” said Richard Laneda, an analyst at COL Financial Group Inc. “This is a way for them to earn some revenue.”
Philippine gross gaming revenue fell 96% in the second quarter as casinos shut to stem the spread of the coronavirus, with operators like Bloomberry posting losses. The gaming regulator has been pushing to gradually reopen casinos after they were shut in March. Online casinos that only serve offshore markets and catering mostly to Chinese clients have also been hit by restrictions and a new tax on bets.