More than 3,000 jobless after Fontana’s closure

Three weeks before Christmas, more than 3,000 workers were left out of work after government authorities issued several closure orders against the Fontana Leisure Park and Casino.

On Monday afternoon (Dec. 5), the state-run Clark Development Corporation (CDC) issued a ‘Cease and Desist Order’ against the Fontana Development Corporation.

The CDC has also suspended Fontana’s Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CORTE), the equivalent of Business/Mayor’s Permits issued by Local Government Units.

Fontana General Manager Dennis Pak received the closure order on Monday.

The CDC, however, said it will allow the Fontana management to honor its commitments to clients for the holidays but the entire resort complex will be shut down afterwards.

Initially, joint elements of the Angeles City Police Office and the regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group along with PAGCOR personnel served the closure order to Fontana Casino on Sunday, December 4.

The closure order signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea indicated that only the Fontana Casino will be closed. The next day, however, the CDC served its ‘Cease and Desist Order’ against the Fontana Development Corporation.

By suspending Fontana’s Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption, the whole resort complex was effectively shut down.

The Fontana complex comprises family-style holiday villas, hotel, water park, golf, fitness facilities, spa, restaurants, convention space and boutique casino.

The closure of Fontana stemmed from the discovery of an illegal online gaming facility within the resorts owned by Chinese gambling lord Jack Lam of Macau last November 24.

Some 1,316 Chinese nationals had been arrested.

The Department of Justice will investigate the unlicensed online gaming operations and employment of aliens without proper permits.

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