Manila casinos resume limited operations, Melco announces H1 results


As the industry hoped, a relaxing of Metro Manila’s quarantine status has brought with it a limited return of casino gambling. As of August 24, casinos in the region have been allowed to return to limited operations, as revealed by Melco International’s 1H Interim Results.

manila-casinos-resume-limited-operations-melco-announces-h1-resultsMelco wrote:

“On August 19, 2020, Metro Manila was placed under a General Community Quarantine and City of Dreams Manila was allowed to resume its dry run/trial run previously started in June 2020. On August 24, 2020, the Philippine government allowed PAGCOR-licensed casinos in areas covered by the General Community Quarantine to operate at 30% operational capacity. City of Dreams Manila is preparing for the resumption of its normal operations in accordance with the terms and conditions of this new guideline.”

Other casinos in the neighborhood haven’t made such an announcement, nor has PAGCOR, but a series of tweets coming out in the last week all hint that they may be willing to take in a few customers.

Even reopening at 30% capacity will be a huge relief to the casino operators. A limited reopening during Q2 represented Solaire’s only income for the quarter, but they still managed to bring in P121.7 million ($2.5 million) in a two-week period.

Melco’s results for the first half were similarly bad. In the report, they indicated net revenues of HK$7.68 billion ($990 million), a 65.6% drop from 1H 2019. As a result, they suffered a loss after tax of HK$7.06 billion ($910 million)

“The decrease in net revenues was mainly attributable to softer performance in our casino and hospitality operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in temporary casino closures and a significant decline in inbound tourism,” the statement explained.

Although the country has returned to a more relaxed General Community Quarantine, the factors Melco will need for a return to profit at City of Dreams Manila still aren’t really there. Locals know that infections are continuing to spike, and tourism has yet to come back. But even a few VIPs could be all they need to keep the lights on.