Macau is to strengthen security at the city’s casino resorts following an attack on a casino hotel in Manila in the Philippines, the Macau government said in a statement on Sunday.
Casino hotels in Macau are required to increase the number of personnel and equipment for security checks, and enhance their communication with the city’s police services in case of any emergencies, the authorities said in the statement.
The city’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, was also committed to strengthening and improving its inspection work. The regulator said it was working with the police and the gaming operators to beef up security measures at the city’s casinos.
The so-called Islamic State terror network had reportedly claimed responsibility for the Friday morning incident at the Resorts World Manila casino venue in which – according to police sources – 37 people including the armed attacker lost their lives. The Philippine authorities rejected the responsibility claim purported to be from IS.
Resorts World Manila’s operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, said in as Monday filing that the death toll was 35 plus the attacker. Most of the victims reportedly suffocated in the area of the main gaming floor after the assailant set fires.
On Sunday it emerged that the perpetrator was in fact a problem gambler called Jessie Javier Carlos, a Filipino who had reportedly been dismissed previously from a job with the country’s Department of Finance for financial irregularities.
In Friday comments to Reuters news agency, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, chairman of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, a firm that operates casinos in Macau and one – City of Dreams Manila – in the Philippine capital, mentioned that security would be stepped up at his properties.
“With an incident like this… we certainly would ratchet that [security] up even more… certainly [it is] an issue we will buckle down on,” he stated.
According to Reuters, Mr Ho declined to say how he would increase security but stated his casinos already made use of surveillance and counter intelligence measures, metal detectors and security guards.
City of Dreams Manila is located a few kilometres from Resorts World Manila. Travellers International is a venture between local conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc and casino cruise ship specialist Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
(Updated at 12.55pm on Tuesday, June 6)
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