Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., owner, and operator of Resorts World Manila experienced a net loss of PHP312.09 million (US$622,621) for the second quarter of 2017, after closing its casino in June following an arson attack that killed 38 people.
In a Monday, August 14, filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Travellers International reported a net loss of PHP638.2m in income compared to the same period last year, dropping first half income to P374.77m, a year-on-year drop of nearly 80%.
The casino was closed for 27 days in June causing gross gaming revenues to fall by 21.68% over the first two quarters.
In what was first claimed by a terror group as an attack by one of its members, was soon found to be a robbery gone bad and not a terrorist attack, as was also claimed by a leading U.S. political figure. A lone gunman fired shots and set gaming tables on fire resulting in the deaths of 38 people, including the gunman. The attack was committed by a man who had been banned from Philippine casinos after a request by his family because of heavy debts.
The casino closed immediately after the murderous rampage in which most of the people died of smoke inhalation. Philippine gaming regulator, Pagcor, suspended the casino’s gaming license on June 9 and ordered RWM to correct what it deemed “serious security lapses and deficiencies”. The license was reinstated on June 29 but the economic damage that followed the melee was already done.
Bloomberg reported in July that the closure of gaming operations had cost Travellers International PHP60 million daily according to a report on GGRAsia.
In a press release Monday, Kingson Sian, Travellers president and chief executive officer said: “We must be dynamic and aggressive to make sure that RWM is ready for increased competition and the expanding market.” He added, “RWM remains committed in implementing necessary enhancements that ensures the safety, security and enjoyment of our customers and guests.”
The release also noted that the second floor of the casino, which was affected by the incident would no longer be used as gaming space, but rather converted to retail.
As of the end of June Resorts World Manila’s gaming capacity was at 1,407 slot machines, 218 tables, and 110 electronic table games. Average daily foot traffic was estimated at 26,585 in the first semester, according to a report in the local Inquirer.
Travellers is working on the third phase of development for Resorts World Manila which, when complete, will feature new gaming and retail spaces, a six level underground parking facility, and three new hotels adding nearly 1,000 rooms. The hotels are Hilton Manila, Sheraton Manila Hotel, and Maxims II.