BISHOP Patricio Buzon of the Diocese of Bacolod said Tuesday, June 6, that addiction to gambling can ruin lives.

He was reacting to the attack in Resorts World Manila last Friday by Jesse Javier Carlos, 42, a dismissed finance department employee. He set the casino on fire and killed 37 people and wounded 53 others.

Reports said the suspect was a compulsive gambler in casinos and was actually banned by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) in four casinos.

Buzon, citing the previous statement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on illegal gambling, said that “gambling is never a moral virtue. In fact, it is a moral and social cancer.”

The bishop added that it destroys moral values such as industry and hardwork, accountability and honesty, integrity and justice.

Carlos was among the almost 500 gambling addicts who were barred by Pagcor from playing in casinos.

A Player Exclusion Order can be issued through the request of family members of the concerned gambling addict and by the gamblers themselves who ask for restriction, or self-exclusion.

Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent Jack Wanky, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office, said the local police can extend assistance to Pagcor if they need their clients profiled and monitored.

“We can check in our records the background of their clients, they could be involved in illegal drugs or under our watchlist,” he added.