Resorts World Manila Reopening Casino Second Floor Where Deadly 2017 Attack Occurred

Posted on: June 15, 2019, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: June 14, 2019, 11:47h.

Owners of Resorts World Manila in the Philippines plan to soon reopen the casino’s second floor where a deadly attack in 2017 left 36 people dead.

Resorts World Manila casino attack
Two years after a deadly fire ignited by a gunman killed 36 people, Resorts World Manila is readying to reopen the space. (Image: Alecs Ongcal/Rappler)

It was nearly midnight on June 2, 2017, when a lone gunman later identified as Jessie Javier Carlos entered the casino’s second floor high roller area and began firing shots. His actions caused a stampede of casino employees and patrons running away from the bullets.

Carlos soaked poker tables and cushioned slot machine seats with gasoline, and then ignited a massive fire. The toxic fumes penetrated trapped guests on the floor, and though none died by gunfire, three dozen victims did due to inhalation of the hazardous gasses.

Carlos stole gaming chips, but committed suicide upon arrival of police. It was later revealed he had a severe gambling problem.

Four months later, the Las Vegas shooting happened when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from Mandalay Bay onto an outdoor country music festival below. The massacre killed 58 victims.

Casino Reopening

Resorts World Manila is owned by Malaysia’s Genting Group and billionaire Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group and its subsidiary Travellers International. The latter company has revealed that the casino’s second floor will reopen next month with 100 new table games and around 600 slot machines.

That will be an entire new floor of gaming space,” Travellers CEO Kingson Sian told investors during a shareholder meeting on Friday. “As we expand the gaming space, we are attracting not only locals but also foreign players to come, and we can develop new junket relationships.”

Sian added that once the space reopens, Resorts World Manila will have a total of 365 tables and 2,300 slot machines throughout the property. The chief executive said the total number of gaming positions will be more than it was at the time of the 2017 attack.

The integrated resort will end 2019 with 3,555 hotel rooms across its Marriott, Maxims, and Holiday Inn hotels.

Resorts World Development

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s contentious relationship with casinos is over, at least for now. The controversial leader said last month that he can no longer “control” gambling, and will “not meddle with it anymore.”

Filipino casinos, both commercial integrated resorts and the state-owned gaming properties, reported record gross gaming revenue (GGR) last year of PHP187.54 billion ($3.58 billion). Manila’s multibillion-dollar resort casinos that includes Resorts World, Solaire, City of Dreams, and Okada generated the major chunk of the win with more than $2.9 billion.

Further expansion is planned for the capital’s Entertainment City. After Duterte had stopped construction on Landing International’s $1.5 billion casino on allegations that the Hong Kong company had reached a land-lease deal unfavorable to the government, the president saying he’ll step back from gaming matters means the development is back on.

Work also continues at Westside City, the megacomplex being developed by Alliance Global’s MegaWorld Corporation. Travellers is invested in the project – which will include hotels, residential township, mall, and “array of leisure and entertainment facilities.”