PAGCOR reinstates Resorts World Manila gaming licence

By Robert Simmons
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) have today announced the lifting of a suspension order on the gaming licence of the operators of the Resorts World Manila casino resort.

Officials from PAGCOR suspended the Travellers International Hotel Group Inc licence following an attack on the resort by lone gunman Jessie Carlos on June 2nd.

Carlos burst into the casino, began firing shots and setting casino tables alight, killing 38 before later setting himself on fire in one of the hotels rooms.

A PAGCOR investigation later revealed widespread security failures at the resort, despite PAGCOR issuing instructions ordering licensees to strengthen their security measures following attacks by militants from the radical Islamist Maute Group on government troops in Marawi City.

This investigation led to the suspension of the groups licence on June 8th.

In a statement on the PAGCOR website, the regulator said that the suspension order was lifted following ‘careful scrutiny and deliberations’ and that "The lifting of said suspension takes effect today, following Travellers International’s compliance with PAGCOR’s required security and safety improvements".

It cited numerous security and safety improvement at the resort, including: an increase in the number of x-ray machines & metal detectors, a doubling of the deployment of guards with firearms, the organisation of additional safety and security seminars for employees and the ongoing review of safety and security protocols for various emergency scenarios.

PAGCOR officials said: "Aside from compliance with security and safety improvements, PAGCOR lifted the suspension order in consideration of Travellers International's 6,000 gaming operations workforce, whose livelihood are now affected,"

The regulator also confirmed that the group had conducted a structural review of the property and its security procedures, obtaining a fire safety inspection certificate from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

However, it sounded a note of caution to Travellers International, adding that it: “would like to maintain its position that the lifting of suspension order does not disregard Travellers International's officers and personnel of any criminal liability, which is to be determined by government investigating bodies

PAGCOR wants to move on as an institution. Hence, it is doing what is best and what is legal for the greater good of everyone,"


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