The attack on June 2 by a lone gunman at the Resorts World Manila facility will hurt the Philippine tourist industry and could also impact the casino industry in the country. The attack which left 37 people dead is being probed by the authorities to see if Resorts World Manila had breached any protocols that allowed this to happen.
New Amendment Could Suspend Licenses
However even before a full-fledged investigation has been carried out and concluded, a number of lawmakers have already begun pointing fingers and throwing out allegations threatening Resorts World Manila, gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and even the Philippine National Police (PNP). Legislators are looking to pass a new bill that would amend the Republic Act 9487 that would empower the Philippine House of Representatives to revoke casino licenses and also prevent PAGCOR from issuing new casino licenses.
A Presidential Degree gave PAGCOR the right to be the exclusive authority to issue licenses in the country. House majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas wants legislators to amend and revoke this presidential decree thereby stripping PAGCOR of its rights. PAGCOR defended itself during the meeting by saying that CCTV image has shown that Resorts World Manila was at fault as it had breached a number of laws. PAGCOR Chairwoman Andrea Domingo also stated that the regulator had sent out an advisory notice on May 24 informing casinos including Resorts World Manila that they needed to step up their security and be prepared for the unexpected.
PAGCOR Had Issued Warning Before Attack
In a statement, Domingo read from the advisory which said “We advise you to implement the following additional precautionary measures: (1) increase security preparedness in your respective venues and properties to ensure safety to your employees, staff, and guests (2) abide by the rules and curfew in other city ordinances that may be issued by the local government and other government agencies where you are situated in connection with this latest incident.”
PAGCOR also launched an investigation into the Resorts World Manila shooting and based on their findings they say that security in the parking lots and the entrance was lacking. CCTV footage also backed PAGCOR’s claims as one can see that the security guards present were not properly equipped and in the end ran away from the attacker instead of looking to take him down and protect patrons at the casino.
The irony of the incident is that none of the 37 people died from gunshot wounds but rather from smoke inhalation and suffocation. The gunman set fire to casino tables and caused panic which resulted in many people, especially women seeking refuge in restrooms. In the end, they got trapped due to the fire and ended up being suffocated to death.
Resorts World Manila & PAGCOR Criticized
However Fariñas lashed out at Gomez stating that he did not coordinate properly with the PNP as he should have told them that there was a second CCTV monitoring facility at the Remington Hotel which could have provided police with better intelligence in arresting the situation faster. Fariñas also criticized the PNP for failing to be proactive and finding out if there were other CCTV monitoring stations. PAGCOR was also not spared as Fariñas wanted to know why they have not yet suspended the license of Resorts World Manila and are continuing to allow them to operate.
Resorts World Manila Defends Itself
Resorts World Manila CEO and President Kingson Sian was present during these discussions and he defended his company by saying that they had not breached any protocols and stated that fire sprinklers worked as they should have when the fire went off. He also pointed out that there were more than 12,000 patrons and guests who managed to safely exit the premises. Armeen Basister Gomez, the chief security and safety office for Resorts World Manila also defended his security personnel stating that they did their best to counter the attacker.
The Philippines has done its best to attract foreign investors into the country, especially companies in the casino industry. This incident could negatively impact those plans and hurt the country’s growing casino industry which provides significant revenue to the government in the form of gaming taxes.

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