Resorts World resumes gaming operations
Less than a month after 37 people died when a man with a gambling problem went on a rampage inside the casino before killing himself, Resorts World Manila resumed gaming operations on Thursday.
Earlier, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) lifted its June 9 order for the hotel-casino complex to stop all gaming operations while an investigation of “its liability regarding the June 2 incident [was] ongoing.”
This was after Resorts World complied with Pagcor’s required security and safety improvements. These included hiring a new security agency, increasing X-ray machines and metal detectors, on top of doubling the deployment of armed guards.
Pagcor, however, stressed that the lifting of its suspension order did not absolve the management of criminal liability.
It added that it took into consideration the hotel-casino complex’s gaming employees plus the P14 million daily revenue losses on the part of the government.
Kingson Sian, president and CEO of Resorts World Manila, welcomed the move, saying that “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 personnel.”
Sian, however, clarified that only the gaming operations on the ground and third floors have resumed. The second floor, where Jessie Carlos went on a shooting rampage and set gaming tables on fire before killing himself, would be used only for “other non-gaming purposes.” Most of the victims who were either employees or guests suffocated due to smoke coming from burning tables.
The Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection had pointed to lapses in security and fire measures in place at the hotel-casino complex during a hearing at the House of Representatives.
In a statement on Thursday, Resorts World said that aside from local security firm NC Lanting, it also hired international security company Blackpanda earlier this month “to tighten the external and internal security protocols.”
It added that it was “committed to further intensifying its coordination and joint drill sessions with the PNP and BFP for emergency situations.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.