City of Dreams Manila testing casino ops, still no relaunch date

City of Dreams Manila (CoDM) would like nothing more than to swing open its doors and start welcoming back patrons to its casino floor and entertainment options. The Philippines has been working on bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic and only recently saw movement toward a quasi-resumption of what could be considered normal routines. Casinos and other businesses are desperate to return to their former selves and CoDM is now working on trying to make that happen. GGRAsia reports that the casino resort is now warming up its casino operations in accordance with government guidelines in anticipation of a full-scale relaunch.

The media outlet talked to CoDM’s chief operating officer, Kevin Benning, who confirmed that the property is actively testing its equipment and internal procedures, and that it’s ready to go full speed ahead as soon as all the proper elements are in place. Benning added, however, that a date for the Melco Resorts and Entertainment-run property to resume normal operations is still not available, but that it is seeing success with the 30% capacity restriction implemented by the government. He explained, “The trial run, as permitted by Pagcor, with invited guests at 30 percent capacity, continues, enabling us to fine-tune our services in compliance with government guidelines.”

CoDM has 301 table games and 2,273 gaming machines, according to information supplied by Melco Resorts when it reported its second-quarter financials. Because of its strong presence in Manila and Macau, Melco is “well positioned to speed its revenue recovery cycle because it has strong footprints in both Macau and Manila,” according to Smartkarma Innovations Pte Ltd. The investment research firm out of Singapore made its call in a report released last week on gambling operators.

CoDM has a number of entertainment and dining options, and they all hope to be back in business before too much longer. Four restaurants, Crystal Dragon, Noodle 8, Red Ginger and Wave, are expected to open at 30% capacity once the resort reopens, with other dining options to relaunch after that. The Hyatt Regency, the Nobu and the Nuwa hotels will also be ready to resume normal operations, as will these venues’ stores, on-site banks, swimming pools and other amenities.

Benning also explained to GGRAsia, “The DreamWorks-inspired family entertainment centre DreamPlay, The Garage VR Zone, and food park, and our two spas, will subsequently follow,” adding, “In compliance with government regulations, we have stringent measures to maintain the safety and health of our guests and colleagues against Covid-19.” Some of those measures include face masks and shields, physical distancing policies, thermal-temperature checks and increased disinfection of common areas. In addition, employees have been given “hygiene kits and vitamins” and guests who arrive for stays at the hotels will be given “an amenity kit consisting of two, 3-ply face masks, disinfectant wipes and alcohol, along with two face shields.”

The Philippines, especially the Metro Manila area, has been hit hard by COVID-19 and has been forced to keep restrictions in place longer than many other locations. While the world waits for a viable vaccine to be developed, or for the virus to run its course, the country is taking the only option available – to hunker down and ride out the storm.

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