AFTER Metro Manila and high-risk areas were placed back under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for 15 days effective today the resumption of lotto operations in the affected areas was suspended indefinitely.
On July 21, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO ) announced gaming operations would resume today.
In a statement issued by PCSO yesterday, Instant Sweepstakes tickets, Keno and lotto operations in MECQ areas are suspended until further notice.
“In view of the pronouncement by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to revert NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 midnight to August 18, 2020, Instant Sweepstakes tickets, Keno, including the scheduled resumption of lotto operations in these areas shall be SUSPENDED until further notice,” PCSO said in an official statement.
According to PCSO, upon approval by the Office of the President of the resumption of the PCSO gaming operations, the PCSO general manager ordered the immediate resumption of Instant Sweepstakes on July 20, Online Keno on July 28 and Lotto Games on August 4.
Based on the circular the resumption of the gaming operations is subject to the quarantine level declared under the areas.
Only areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) are allowed to resume their selling operations.
Once the Lotto operations and other games resume, the PCSO will implement health safety measures like wearing of face masks and observance of physical distancing.
The PCSO also announced that it would roll back the lotto price to P20 from P24 set in 2018 in compliance with the new tax law. The reduction is to gain more bettors.
As of March 2020 there are 7,978 lotto outlets and 1,535 Keno outlets nationwide.
On July 20, the PCSO started to conduct catch-up draws for some tickets sold before Luzon was placed under lockdown due to coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic..
PCSO General Manager Royina Marzan-Garma said the catch-up draw will be conducted for 15 days and two draws in a day.
In a briefing on Sunday night, Duterte announced the reversion of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal to MECQ until August 18.
Metro Manila had moved from MECQ to the less strict general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1 even as cases continued to rise across the national capital region and elsewhere across the country.