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PAGCOR on the line

The deadly attack on Resorts World Manila on June 2 has fired up political discussions in the Philippines that may lead to divesting the state gaming agency of its licensing powers

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) may lose its licensing powers over casino operators after the deadly attack at Resorts World Manila on June 2, the Rappeler reported.
Acting lawmakers were said to be considering the option of filing a bill seeking to transfer PAGCOR’s current power to grant licenses to casinos to the House of Representatives.
The proposal was disclosed by Majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas during a joint committee probe held at the House, into the shooting and arson attack perpetrated by a lone gunman, Jessie Carlos, at Resorts World.
The attack left 38 dead in the casino operated by Travellers International Hotel Group.
Fariñas argued that local casino operators should be required to obtain franchises, or licenses, from the country’s legislative body instead of PAGCOR.
The Majority leader was also quoted as saying that they will review the Republic Act (RA) 9487, ‘with a view of amending it and repealing altogether’ Presidential Decree (PD) 1869, which first formalized PAGCOR’s charter.
Passed in 2007, RA 9487 extended PAGCOR’s franchise for yet another 25 years, while further granting the state regulator the authority to operate and license casinos as well as gaming and entertainment clubs in the country.

License revoked
The license granted to Resorts World Manila to operate casinos in the country was suspended by Pagcor on Friday, pending the results of the investigation into the potential liability of the company, regional media reported.
“The said suspension will remain until RWM rectifies its serious security lapses and deficiencies – which caused not only the loss of lives and damaged properties but also placed the Philippine gaming, tourism and hospitality industries in bad light,” Pagcor stated, as published by Philstar.
Resorts World Manila is reviewing its security procedures and protocols, a measure Macau operators have also implemented in the wake of the attacks.

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