THE management of Resorts World Manila on Saturday pledged P1 million to each family of guests and workers who died on Friday’s lone-wolf attack at the casino and entertainment complex, on top of funeral and burial expenses.
Resorts World, owned by the listed Travellers International Hotel Group, put up a memorial wall for the 37 persons who died of suffocation in its second-floor VIP casino hall, with people offering flowers, candles and prayers for the victims of the tragedy.
“Guests. Employees. Family. We are one with you,” it said.
Resorts World Manila Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly made the announcement in a news conference on Saturday, saying the financial aid was intended to address the families’ “immediate needs.”
“Nothing can ever replace the lives of our loved ones. Yesterday, we all lost so many lives because of a senseless act. With this financial assistance, we hope that we will be able to somehow help each family hurdle through their needs during this most difficult time,” Reilly said.
Shows at Resorts World’s Newport Performing Arts Theater were cancelled, as the casino remained shut down amid an investigation into the attack.
Newport Mall at Resorts World Manila announced that it would be closed for one week to mourn the 37 dead victims.
“Newport Mall at Resorts World Manila will remain temporarily closed for a seven-day mourning period as we pay our respects to the casualties of the tragic incident,” the mall management said.
It also assured the public the mall management was “working hard to completely restore normalcy” in mall operations after a week of temporary closure.
Resorts World officials said they evacuated some 12,000 people following the attack early on Friday.
On Friday, Reilly insisted there was only one assailant, contrary to speculation online, and that in-house security shot the gunman and thus slowed him down.
The still unknown male suspect proceeded to Room 510 of Maxims Hotel and took his own life, after setting fire on casino tables and taking away P113 million worth of gaming chips, police said.
The police office supervising security agencies has summoned casino security officials to a meeting this week to ascertain responsibility. If found negligent, security officials face a fine of at least P50,000 and the cancellation of their license.
Resorts World officials also denied on Saturday that their sprinkler systems did not work, but said they were leaving the investigation up to the Bureau of Fire Protection.
NELSON S. BADILLA