Lam’s casino at Ft. Ilocandia closed
LAOAG CITY—The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has ordered the closure of the casino operation of the Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino (FIRC), owned by Macau-based gaming tycoon Jack Lam, who also operated a casino at Clark Freeport in Pampanga province.
Lawyer Jayson Perrera, FIRC legal consultant, confirmed the closure on Monday, saying the firm complied with the order despite the absence of a formal directive.
He, however, clarified that the closure was temporary.
President Duterte had ordered the arrest of Lam for allegedly attempting to bribe government officials, including Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo, and for economic sabotage.
But records showed that a certain Lam Yin Lok, Lam’s known Chinese name, left the country last Nov. 29 for Hong Kong, barely four days after 1,316 Chinese nationals were arrested by immigration agents at the Fontana Leisure Park and Casino Hotel at Clark for overstaying and other violations.
Fontana Leisure is an affiliate of FIRC.
According to Perrera, Lam was last seen at the FIRC about two months ago.
Aguirre has issued an immigration lookout bulletin order against Lam.
With the issuance, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) will cancel the investors’ visa of Lam.
“We are in the process of implementing the instructions for the cancellation of the investors’ visa and implementation of the lookout bulletin order,” BI spokesperson Tonette Mangrobang said.
Lam was accused of offering a bribe for the release of 1,316 arrested Chinese nationals allegedly working illegally at Fontana. Lam’s Fontana gaming facility was closed on Sunday.
However, Philippine authorities cannot get Lam if he is already abroad without an arrest warrant which is required by the Interpol before acting on any requests for arrest, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa said on Monday. —WITH REPORTS FROM JULIE M. AURELIO, CYNTHIA D. BALANA AND GIL CABACUNGAN
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