The operator of the Resorts World Manila casino complex (pictured) in the Philippine capital says it will make every effort to preserve its right to a gaming licence in the wake of a deadly attack on June 2 that left at least 36 people dead.
“The company assures its stakeholders that all efforts shall be exerted to preserve and defend the company’s provisional licence,” said a Tuesday filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange from Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.
The declaration followed a Friday announcement from the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), that it had ordered the suspension of Travellers’ gaming licence – currently designated by the regulator as “provisional” – pending an investigation into the incident.
Resorts World Manila had its first phase opening in August 2009. A second phase added more hotel rooms in late 2016, while a third phase is due to increase hotel room capacity by 2018.
Travellers International – a venture between local conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc and casino cruise specialist Genting Hong Kong Ltd – said in its Tuesday filing that the gaming permit suspension was “pending investigation and final determination by Pagcor of the company’s alleged liability for the June 2, 2017 robbery/arson incident”.
It had been reported on June 2 by the Philippine media, quoting police sources, that the assailant – Jessie Carlos, who was later found dead on the premises – had attempted to steal gambling chips before setting fires on gambling tables in the main gaming floor at Resorts World Manila. Police later described the perpetrator as a problem gambler who had been previously barred from entering licensed gaming venues.
In other developments, the Manila Standard newspaper reported on Tuesday that a multi-committee inquiry by the country’s House of Representatives would conclude on Wednesday its probe into the deadly incident.
The outlet quoted Representative Gus Tambunting, chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusements, as saying it was the House of Representatives “responsibility … to make sure such catastrophes do not happen again”.
The newspaper reported the lawmaker as saying the inquiry panel sought to ensure the creation of legislation to give the country’s security and intelligence agencies what the outlet termed “the necessary tools to prevent such crimes”.
“We cannot allow the Philippines to be a place where perpetrators can easily commit these acts which result in the loss of life and property. Enough is enough,” Mr Tambunting was quoted saying.
“The Philippines is on the verge of becoming one of the world’s entertainment capitals. We will not be able to achieve this if our visitors, investors, and the Filipino people in general do not feel safe,” the Standard also cited the lawmaker as saying.
“If we do not shape up our security measures, what happened at Resorts World Manila could also happen in our other hotels, casinos, stadiums, concert halls, and other places where a lot of people gather,” he further stated.
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