Press Statement on the Resorts World Manila (RWM)incident - June 8, 2017

Thursday | June 8, 2017 | 3:00 PM

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident in Resorts World Manila (RWM) that claimed the lives of 38 individuals and wounded 54 persons last week.

This tragic event shows the vulnerability of our institutions in the face of any form of terror attack. Hence, the need to strengthen security and safety measures and protocols – especially in tourist areas and public places. PAGCOR, as a responsible corporate citizen is committed to implement the highest security standards both for its licensed operators and its own gaming operations.

In fact, prior to the June 2, 2017 (Friday) RWM incident, PAGCOR issued a security advisory to all its licensees and gaming site operators to 1) Increase security preparedness in their respective areas to ensure the safety of employees and guests; and 2) Abide by the curfew rules and other ordinances that may be issued by the local government units where they are situated. This advisory was issued in the light of the terrorist activities in Mindanao.

On June 5, 2017 (Monday), PAGCOR requested reports from the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and RWM. However, only RWM submitted a sketchy account of what transpired. Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo firmly insisted that RWM must allow the PAGCOR management to inspect the premises and view related videos – otherwise, RWM risks losing its license.

On June 6, 2017 (Tuesday), PAGCOR was able to walk through the crime scene in RWM; viewed related videos from RWM’s CCTV cameras and interviewed RWM’s management and CCTV/ Surveillance Personnel.

PAGCOR’s probe team immediately drafted its findings for presentation to the Board on June 7, 2017 (Wednesday) at 10:00 am but a Congressional hearing at the exact date and time was held. From the findings, the PAGCOR Board will study and make due recommendations to ensure that similar events will be prevented in the future and determine the sanctions to be imposed on RWM.

To date, RWM went into voluntary suspension – giving PAGCOR time to make objective and sound decisions in accordance with the law.

Like other provisional licensees of the Entertainment City which has a minimum investment of US$1 billion, RWM has its legal rights contained in its contract. In spite of what transpired, PAGCOR cannot immediately revoke RWM’s license without allowing the latter to go through proper investigation and due process.

On Friday, 9 June, the PAGCOR Board will deliberate and decide what sanctions will be imposed against RWM.

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