Philippines Casino Industry Rocked Yet Again As A Fire Claims Five Lives
The casino industry in the Philippines has grown significantly during the last five years as the government has encouraged foreign operators to develop casino resorts and invest heavily by relaxing regulations to make it easy for them to set up a base in the country. The casino industry has created thousands of jobs, boosted tourism in the country and generated millions in gaming taxes for the country.
The casino industry in the Philippines has received a lot of negative publicity in the last 12 months due to a couple of unsavoury incidents.
The latest is a fire that broke out at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino on Sunday which resulted in over 23 people suffering burns and 5 people losing their lives.
The Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino is a waterfront property that has 22 storeys and is situated in the popular tourist district of Manila. The casino which was pretty full over the weekend is operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) which is also the gaming regulator in the country.
Officials are yet to confirm on whether the fire broke out at the casino floor or whether it broke out in one of the areas that was undergoing renovation. The authorities have also yet to confirm the final number in terms of deaths and injuries. What the authorities were able to confirm was that the sprinklers at the resort did not work when needed and it was left to the fire-fighters to jump in and put out the blaze.
Casinos Not Prepared To Handle Emergency Situations
This was a massive fire that took fire-fighters over nine hours to arrest and extinguish. Three out of the five people who died have been identified as employees of Pagcor. The dead include a treasury officer and two security guards.
Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino has invested $6.7 million to renovate a portion of the casino property. That work will now be put on hold as the authorities conduct a thorough investigation.
A filing made by the casino operator to the Philippine Stock Exchange said
Hotel operations have been temporarily suspended until the proper clearances from the government regulatory agencies have been obtained.
This is the second major fire that has impacted the casino industry in the fire. In June 2017, a shooter stormed Resorts World Manila and ended up torching the casino which resulted in the deaths of 37 people.
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