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Philippines – PAGCOR suspends Resorts World Manila’s licence

By - 12 June 2017

Philippine regulator PAGCOR has issued Resorts World Manila with a suspension order as it awaits the conclusions of an investigation into how a lone gunman set fire to gaming tables in the property, causing 38 deaths.

PAGCOR’s chair Andrea Domingo confirmed that Resorts World Manila President Kingson Sian was served with a ‘cease and desist.’

Resorts World took it upon itself to remain closed until at least June 15.

Resorts World Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly said: “There were lapses in security. When we played the first videos, I pointed out there should have been security personnel posted on certain points and they were not present. We admit openly there were some lapses in security.”

PAGCOR said: “Resorts World Manila must strengthen security and safety measures and protocols – especially in tourist areas and public places. Pagcor, as a responsible corporate citizen is committed to implement the highest security standards both for its licensed operators and its own gaming operations. It shows the vulnerability of our institutions in the face or any form of terror attack. However, since the police investigation was on-going during the weekend, we could not access the crime scene and provide a full account on the matter instantaneously.”

It described the casino’s explanation as a ‘sketchy account of what transpired.’

Prior to the Resorts World incident, Pagcor said it had issued a security advisory to all its casinos following the terrorist activities in Mindanao.

National Capital Region Police Office director Oscar Albayalde named the assailant as Jessie Javier Carlos, 42, from San Lazaro, Metro Manila. He was known to be a problem gambler and had amassed debts of P4m (around US$80,000). He had previously worked in the Department of Finance.

Travellers International Hotel Group, one of the major names behind Resorts World Manila, has lost about P7.09bn in market value since the event.

Analyst Luis Limlingan, at Regina Capital Development Corporation, said: “Everything we’re seeing in the share price movement, I would say you’d expect after the incident.”

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