In the wake of last week’s fire and shooting attack at the Resorts World Manila that left 38 dead and 53 injured, federal lawmakers in the Philippines are reportedly considering legislation that would strip the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation regulator of its power to license casinos.
According to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, the proposed measure would amend Republic Act 9487 of 2007, which gives the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation the sole authority to grant casino licenses and again hand this duty over to the Philippine House of Representatives.
“By a presidential decree, the power was delegated to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to have the sole authority to authorize licenses and regulate gambling,” Rodolfo Farinas, majority leader for the Philippine House of Representatives, told the newspaper. “That should not be allowed. That should only be a congressional grant of license. Under the leadership of the speaker [Pantaleon Alvarez], we will review Republic Act 9487 with the view of amending it and repealing altogether Presidential Decree 1869.”
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the incident has additionally led to members of the Senate of the Philippines to call for the casino license held by Resorts World Manila, which is operated by Malaysian firm Genting Group, to be revoked due to the property’s alleged failure to implement adequate security measures. It noted that there had been only one security guard posted at the entrance of the 1,574-room facility at the time of the attack in the early hours of June 2.
“From our assessment, there was really a lack of security in the entrance and parking lots in Resorts World Manila,” Andrea Domingo, Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, told the newspaper. “[There was a] lack of [an] adequate [number] of properly-equipped security personnel and this can be seen from its video that we saw.”
Domingo reportedly declared that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation had earlier ordered all of the nation’s casinos to strengthen their security protocols and abide by local curfew ordinances after members of a radical Islamist group rampaged through the Mindanao city of Marawi two weeks ago.