Resorts World Manila resumes gaming operations as PAGCOR lifts suspension

June 29, 2017 - 8:20 PM
File photo of Resorts World Manila.

MANILA – Resorts World Manila (RWM) resumed Thursday (June 29) its gaming operations after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) lifted the June 9, 2017 suspension order of the company’s provisional license to operate casinos and other gaming facilities as a result of the June 2 shooting and arson incident that killed 38 people dead, including the lone perpetrator.

The gaming regulator said in a statement it was lifting the suspension following presentation by RWM of its Casino Security Protective Action Plans.

RWM passed the PAGCOR inspection that recognized how the enhancements and new emergency, safety and security protocols have been fortified since the June 2 incident, which left the second floor badly burned when Jessie Carlos – a gambling addict who went on a rampage – torched gaming tables and slot machines.

The state gaming agency said among the measures RWM had carried out since June 2 were:

• hiring a new security agency and experts to assess and improve safety and security systems;
• increasing number of x-ray machines and metal detectors;
• doubling of deployed guards with firearms;
• ongoing review and improvement of safety and security protocols for various emergency scenarios;
• conduct of additional safety and security seminars for employees;
• tapping of professional structural engineers to assess building’s structural integrity.

6,000 workers, P434-M revenue share

PAGCOR said that besides compliance with the uncompromisable issue of safety and security, the lifting order was also issued in consideration of the jobs disruption to 6,000 gaming employees. The government was also losing an average P14 million a day or P434 million a month in revenue share as a result of the suspension order.

With the resumption of operations, RWM said it would no longer use the second floor but will return gaming operations to the third and second floors.

“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,” said Kingson Sian, RWM president and CEO.

“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,” Sian added.

RWM engaged the services of an international security outfit, Blackpanda, earlier this month to tighten the external and internal security protocols. Sian said that RWM remains committed to putting in place the best security and safety measures available and will constantly review for upgrades as new technology and developments require.

RWM said in a statement it has also committed to further intensify its coordination and joint drill sessions with the PNP and BFP for various emergency situations.