Resorts World Manila back in business


Resumes gaming operations as PAGCOR lifts suspension

Resorts World Manila (RWM) on Thursday, June 29 resumed its gaming operations after the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) lifted its suspension order on the company’s provisional license to operate casinos and gaming facilities.

In a statement, PAGCOR said it lifted its suspension order “after careful scrutiny and deliberations” of the Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (TIHGI) compliance with the government’s “required security and safety improvements.”

RWM is owned and operated by TIHGI.

PAGCOR said among the security improvements include the hiring of  a new security agency and experts to assess and improve safety and security systems; increasing of x-ray machines and metal detectors; and doubling up of deployment of guards with firearms.

It also include ongoing review and improvement of safety and security protocols for various emergency scenarios; conducting of additional safety and security seminars for employees; having professional structural engineers assess building to ensure structural integrity; and obtaining a Fire Safety Inspection Certificate.

Apart from the RWM’s compliance with security and safety improvements, PAGCOR added that it lifted the suspension order “in consideration of TIHGI’s 6,000 gaming operations workforce, whose livelihood are now affected.”

It noted that the government also “loses an average of P14 million per day or P434 million a month as a result of the suspension order.”

PAGCOR, however, clarified that the lifting of suspension order “does not disregard TIHGI’s officers and personnel of any criminal liability, which is to be determined by government investigating bodies.”

Earlier on June 9, PAGCOR suspended  the gaming license of RWM after a lone gunman, identified as heavily indebted Jessie Carlos, stormed the casino and set fire to the premises, causing the deaths of 38 individuals, including the assailant himself.

“With the lifting of the suspension order, PAGCOR enjoins TIHGI as well as all gaming operators to continuously improve their safety procedures and protocols to ensure that this tragic incident will not happen again,” it said.

For its part, the TIHGI welcomed the PAGCOR’s decision.

“With PAGCOR’s assistance and guidance, we can now start the difficult task of rebuilding as it is also our responsibility to take care of our 6,000 staff and personnel,” Travellers International President and CEO Kingson Sian said.

He added, “We are bringing back the gaming operations on the ground and third floors of our integrated resort. The second floor will no longer be used for casino operations and will be utilized for other non-gaming purposes instead.” (Dana Sioson/AJPress)

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