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Pagcor suspends POGO operations in Luzon; workers ordered to stay home

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 06:34 PM March 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) on Wednesday ordered the temporary suspension of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) and its service providers in Luzon for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine imposed by the government, effective immediately.

In a statement, the government’s gaming regulator said the suspension was implemented to ensure the safety of all employees and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pagcor also released amended guidelines, which stated that “the skeletal workforce at POGO operating sites are no longer allowed.”

As such, all POGO employees are urged to “remain in their places of residence, and no loitering or mass gatherings are allowed.”

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Meanwhile, the maintenance and upkeep of POGO data centers, software, technical devices, and other information technology facilities must be done remotely.

For matters that cannot be resolved remotely, maintenance personnel must secure necessary permits from the concerned unit of the Inter-Agency Task Force.

POGO operations outside Luzon are advised to abide by community quarantine measures that are being adopted by concerned local government units.

Pagcor chair and CEO Andrea Domingo said this measure will help ensure not only the health and safety of all stakeholders, whether they be POGO workers or the broader Filipino public.

“Our situation right now is different,” she said. “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.”

Pagcor 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 the agency. Junket operations were also suspended.

Meanwhile, Pagcor said it is reviewing its guidelines periodically to ensure the proper implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

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