June 9, 2017 / 8:58 AM / in a year

Philippine regulator orders Resorts World to stop gaming ops during attack probe

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine gaming regulator on Friday ordered Resorts World Manila to halt gaming operations pending the outcome of an investigation into a recent casino attack that killed 37 people.

A gunman - identified as Jessie Javier Carlos, a 42-year old Filipino - burst into the Resorts World entertainment complex on June 2, setting gaming tables alight and killing dozens of people. Islamic state claimed the attack, but officials insisted it was a botched robbery.

Resorts World is owned by Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, a joint venture of the Philippines’ Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd

Resorts World has been ordered to “cease and desist all gaming operations pending investigation and final determination by PAGCOR of RWM’s liability”, Andrea Domingo, chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), told reporters.

The attack “exposed serious lapses and deficiencies in Travellers’ safety and security procedures” and “put the Philippine gaming, tourism, and hospitality industries in bad light”, PAGCOR said in its order.

The gunman was caught on CCTV purportedly stealing casino chips worth 113 million pesos ($2.27 million) from a storage room before he was later found by security officers, who shot and wounded him during an exchange of fire. The chips have been recovered.

Shares in Travellers have dropped 2.5 percent since June 2. They hit an all-time low of 2.9 pesos this week.

Travellers reported gaming revenue of 23.6 billion pesos for 2016, or 86 percent of its consolidated revenue for the year.

Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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