Impose moratorium on granting permits to new casinos – Poe

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THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor ) should consider imposing a moratorium on granting permits to new casinos pending evaluation of security procedures in private establishments and introduction of program to address gambling addiction.

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Senator Grace Poe made the call on Wednesday in light of a recent attack on Resorts World Manila that killed 37 people, including the lone gunman, who was a gambling addict, behind it.

Speaking during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum, Poe said there should be clear-cut guidelines in both private and government establishments to address similar incidents.

“I think what we need to pick up from this is how our security protocols are, both in private establishments as well as public spaces,” she added.

Poe, the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, noted that security personnel should also be oriented on how to properly respond to emergency situations.

The senator at the same time raised the need to evaluate the cost and benefits of having many casinos and their effects on society.

Pagcor and all casino operators must be responsible enough to promote what responsible gaming is all about and not only focus on income generation, Poe said.

Meanwhile, a party-list congressman also on Wednesday said he will file a resolution recommending the revocation of the casino franchise of Resorts World Manila over the June 2 incident.

Rep. John Bertiz of ACT-OFW party-list announced his plan during a congressional inquiry held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, noting that “there was gross negligence or laxity on the part of the security personnel of Resorts World Manila that claimed 37 innocent lives.”

Bertiz expressed disappointment with the security lapses after the gunman was seen on CCTV camera footage that was presented during the hearing.

with  BENJIE L. VERGARA

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