Manila eases Covid-19 restrictions but casinos remain closed

Metro Manila has entered into a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Metro Manila has entered into a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Metro Manila will come under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) measures until April 30. However, casinos and other gaming establishments will remain closed.

The Philippines.- The government has announced that  Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will now enter into the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until April 30. The announcement comes after two weeks under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ),

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that under the new MECQ, people must stay at home, but businesses are allowed to reopen at 50 per cent capacity. The curfew from 8pm to 5am will remain in place.

According to the government, casinos, lottery and betting shops, horse racing and cockfighting places will remain closed, except for draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The Philippines Department of Health has reported 11,681 new cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours.

International Monetary Fund urges the Philippines to take action against money laundering

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) referred to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) in a report that evaluates the stability of the country’s financial system.

It said authorities should resolve the conflict of interest arising from Pagcor’s responsibilities for operating casinos and anti-money laundering supervision.

It also stated: “[Pagcor] should effectively apply risk mitigation and risk-based supervision measures regarding targeting casino junket operators.”

In March, a bicameral conference committee from the Philippines Congress approved a proposal to amend the 2001 Anti-Money Laundering Act.

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Covid-19 land-based casino Metro Manila