LOOK: PAGCOR Issues Statement vs. Gambling Addiction

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued a statement emphasizing its stand against any form of gambling addiction in the aftermath of the revelation that the lone gunman in the recent Resorts World Manila attack, identified as Jessie Carlos, was a casino addict. The attack killed 37 people (22 guests and 13 employees). The gunman committed suicide by setting himself on fire inside one of the hotel rooms.

PAGCOR cited in its statement that it “strictly implements its Code of Practice for Responsible Gaming in all its PAGCOR-operated gaming areas and licensed entities in authorized gaming establishments to prevent gambling addiction and minimize potential harm to individual players and the community.”

It was revealed by the parents of 42-year-old Carlos that he was a casino addict and has incurred debts amounting to millions of pesos due to excessive gambling. It also caused the breakup of his marriage. This prompted his family to request PAGCOR to ban him in all gaming establishments.

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PAGCOR also has a National Database of Restricted Persons (NDRP), an online system of excluded persons, which is accessible to licensed casinos and major operators of electronic gaming. Carlos was in fact part of the said database. Player Exclusion program is implemented to provide patrons who feel that relatives or they themselves are developing a problem with gambling with the option of barring them from all gaming venues or sites. Applications for player exclusion are available on PAGCOR’s website: PAGCOR’s Application for Player Exclusion

The state-run gaming firm also enforces stricter measures for its electronic games and E-bingo sites such as banning of minors and known addicted players as well as the enforcement of distance requirements for electronic gaming sites.

To heighten awareness on responsible gaming, PAGCOR said,  it has setup a 24/7 hotline in partnership with help centers in the country to assist those who wish to be rehabilitated from their gambling problem.

As a parting shot, the government’s gaming regulator said, “It is the agency’s hope that gaming in the country will remain to be a form of entertainment and not a means to destroy individuals and families.”

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