PAGCOR temporarily suspends POGO operations in Luzon

March 18, 2020

THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has ordered the temporary suspension of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) and its Service Providers (SP) in Luzon for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government, effective immediately. 

The suspension was implemented to ensure the safety of all employees and to prevent the further spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), which is now a global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

On March 18, 2020, PAGCOR released amended guidelines, which stated that “the skeletal workforce at POGO operating sites are no longer allowed.” Hence, all POGO employees are enjoined to “remain in their places of residence, and no loitering or mass gatherings are allowed.”

Meanwhile, the maintenance and upkeep of POGO data centers, software, technical devices and other Information Technology (IT) facilities must be done remotely.However, on matters that cannot be done remotely, maintenance personnel must secure necessary permits from the concerned unit of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

As for POGO operations outside Luzon, PAGCOR advices operators and service providers to abide by the community quarantine measures that are being adopted by concerned local government units.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo said this measure will help ensure not only the health and safety of POGO workers but the Filipinos as a whole.

“Our situation right now is different. While revenue generation is important in our operations, the health and well-being being of every Filipino is our immediate priority. By practicing the health protocols recommended by our Health Department, we can all help curb, if not stop the spread of COVID-19,” she explained.

PAGCOR has earlier suspended all its gaming operations in Metro Manila, Casino Filipino branches in the provinces, licensed and integrated resort-casinos, electronic games, bingo (traditional and electronic), sports betting, poker and slot machine clubs and other activities regulated by PAGCOR. Junket operations were also suspended.

Meanwhile, PAGCOR is reviewing its guidelines from time-to-time to ensure the proper implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.