Resorts World Manila reopens gaming area
Integrated gaming operator Resorts World Manila (RWM) resumed its gaming operations on Thursday as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) lifted the suspension of its provisional license to operate casinos and other gaming facilities.
The decision came after RWM presented to PAGCOR its Casino Security Protective Action Plans, the gaming firm said on Thursday. RWM said it passed the PAGCOR inspection that recognized how the enhancements and new emergency, safety and security protocols had been fortified since the June 2, 2017 rampage of a lone gunman at the gaming complex.
PAGCOR said in a separate statement that it had decided to lift the suspension order “after careful scrutiny and deliberations.”
The gaming regulator said Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. (TIHGI), owner and developer of RWM, had complied with required security and safety improvements, which included the following:
• hiring of a new security agency and experts to assess and improve safety and security systems;
• increase in number of x-ray machines and metal detectors;
• doubling the deployment of guards with firearms;
• on-going review and improvement of safety and security protocols for various emergency scenarios;
• conduct of additional safety and security seminars for employees;
• having professional structural engineers assess building to ensure structural integrity;
• obtaining fire safety inspection certificate.
RWM engaged the services of an international security outfit, Blackpanda, earlier this month to tighten the external and internal security protocols.
Aside from compliance with security and safety improvements, PAGCOR said it lifted the suspension order in consideration of RWM’s 6,000 gaming operations workforce, whose earnings are now affected. Also, PAGCOR said the government was losing an average of P14 million per day or P434 million a month as a result of the suspension order.
“PAGCOR, however, would like to maintain its position 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,” the gaming regulator said.
TIHGI’s provisional license was suspended last June 9 after the rampage of a lone gunman at RWM that killed 38 people.
“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.
The second floor of RWM was where the gunman, Jessie Carlos, put some tables on fire. Most people who perished during the attack died from inhaling the fumes.
Sian said that RWM remained committed to putting in place the best security and safety measures available and will constantly review for upgrades as new technology and developments require.
Moving forward, RWM said it was also committed to further intensify its coordination and joint drill sessions with the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection for various emergency situations.
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