While the Taal volcano continues to threaten the Philippines with its rumblings and big clouds of potentially toxic lava, at least two casinos have announced that they will ride out the storm and remain open to business as usual. Despite Taal’s danger, Metro Manila, which is about 62 miles north of Taal Lake and home to the restless volcano, has not seen a major shift in operations, but all eyes are definitely watching what might happen. A “hazardous explosive eruption” may occur within hours or days according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
GGRAsia has reported that Resorts World Manila has retained its status quo since around three days ago Taal started showing renewed signs of life this year. The casino resort run by Travellers International Hotel Group has stated that it “continues its regular operations while closely monitoring updates from the proper authorities.”
The venue added, “As an initial effort to extend assistance to its guests and employees, Resorts World Manila waived overnight [parking] fees at Newport Mall on January 11. The hotels within the property also accommodate walk-in guests affected by the flight cancellations,” and that the property “provides shuttle service for its employees who stay near the affected areas.”
Okada Manila still keeps things going, at least for now, but has implemented some proven safety procedures. It told GGRAsia, “To ensure the welfare of all its team members and guests, Okada Manilla has implemented safety and precautionary measures to prepare for the possible effects of the Taal volcano’s recent activity.” The company added, “All concerned business units are also monitoring the situation as part of Okada Manila’s efforts to keep the integrated resort a safe space.”
Casino Filipino Tagaytay, which is extremely close to Taal Lake, is the only checked closure so far. The property is operated by the state-run gaming entity Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) which explains on its website, “Since the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Science and Technology, has raised Alert Level 4, imminent hazardous eruption is expected to affect Tagaytay City and nearby areas. Resumption of operations of our casino branch in the city is indefinite as the safety of both our employees and customers is of foremost importance.”
In March of last year, when seismic activity increased, the Taal volcano, which created the island on which it stands, began hinting at upcoming trouble. There were 57 volcanic earthquakes reported in the span of a single day in November. The unexpected eruption on January 12, however, took almost everyone by surprise, throwing ash into the air for more than 10 miles.