The Philippines bingo halls are set to reopen after a deadly mall fire. The blaze killed 37 people and injured dozens more.
The fire broke out at the NCCC Mall in Davao City on December 23. It took firefighters three hours to bring the three-story building under control.
Many of the victims were workers at the mall’s bingo hall. They had been celebrating the Christmas holidays when the fire started.
The Department of Trade and Industry has now said that the bingo halls will be allowed to reopen subject to certain safety measures being put in place. These include installing emergency exits, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems.
Bingo is a popular game in the Philippines, with over 10,000 outlets nationwide. The reopening of the bingo halls is likely to provide a boost to the country’s economy following the tragedy.
The Philippines’ bingo halls are set to reopen next week, just over a month after a deadly fire at a shopping mall in the capital left 37 people dead.
Dozens of people were killed in the blaze at the busy Resorts World Manila complex on June 2, in what officials said was one of the country’s worst fires ever.
The bingo halls were closed following the fire as authorities carried out safety inspections, but they will now reopen on July 11.
“It is with sadness that we note the reopening of our bingo halls, but it is also with a renewed commitment to safety that we do so,” Resorts World Manila said in a statement.
“We remain committed to providing our customers with a safe and fun environment in which to enjoy their favorite pastime.”
The reopening comes as authorities probe the cause of the fire, with reports suggesting it may have been started by a gunman who stormed the casino and set alight gaming tables before killing himself.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is expecting bingo halls in the country to reopen shortly after a mall blaze in Manila.
The fire, which started at the SM City North EDSA complex on Saturday, has affected several businesses, including four bingo halls run by PAGCOR.
Ed Monreal, head of the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said the fire was put out around 5am on Sunday. However, he added that some portions of the building were still smoldering.
No casualties have been reported as a result of the blaze.
PAGCOR said it is working with city officials to ensure that its bingo halls can reopen as soon as possible.
There is no definite answer to when the bingo halls in the Philippines will reopen. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which regulates gambling in the country, has yet to announce when it will lift the suspension on bingo hall operations.
The PAGCOR announced on October 10 that it was suspending the operations of all bingo halls in the country due to allegations of rigged games. The move came after a months-long investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into allegations of cheating at bingo hall operations.
The NBI probe yielded evidence that some gaming operators were involved in rigging games, allowing them to win large sums of money. In one instance, a group of bettors allegedly won over PHP 1 million (US$19,000) by cheating at a bingo game in Cavite province.
PAGCOR has not said how long the suspension will last. However, it is likely that the suspension will remain in place until the PAGCOR can ensure that games are conducted fairly and honestly.
MANILA - The Manila bingo halls are closed after a fire on the night of March 18. It is uncertain when they will reopen.
The fire started at the Far Eastern Bingo hall on A. Mabini Street in Sta. Cruz district at around 10 p.m. and quickly spread to two other bingo halls, according to the fire department.
More than a hundred firefighters were deployed to put out the blaze. No fatalities were reported, but several people were treated for smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.