International edition
June 23, 2021

The firm is spending us$ 480 million on the second phase

Bloomberry Resorts to finish Philippines casino in 15 months

(Philippines).- Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts aims to complete the second phase of its us$ 1.2 billion Solaire casino resort project in 15 months and hopes to turn a profit in less than five years, its chairman said on Monday.

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loomberry is spending us$ 480 million on the second phase, which involves a new hotel, high-end retail outlets, theatres and more restaurants, Enrique Razon said. It is fully funded and 40 % complete, he added.

The company is racing to finish off the project - the first fully integrated casino and hotel resort in the Philippine capital's new Entertainment City complex - in the face of competition from the likes of Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp.

"Solaire is thick into the process of ramping up its gaming business and we are looking to open a new 308-suite hotel and more entertainment facilities by the third quarter of next year," he told reporters after a stockholders' meeting.

Melco Philippines said on Friday it was on track to open its entire us$ 1 billion gaming complex in Entertainment City by mid-2014. Melco Philippines is a unit of Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment.

Asked if he expected Bloomberry to start making money in five years, Razon said: "I hope it's shorter than that. We're getting a lot of visitors and it's ramping up quite nicely." On a typical weekend, he said Solaire accepted between 15,000 and 16,000 visitors.

Bloomberry incurred a net loss of us$ 25.2 million in the first quarter as expenses rose to 1.8 billion pesos, more than triple Solaire's gaming revenue of us$ 13.2 million from its first 15 days of operation in March.

Shares of Bloomberry fell 4.1 percent on Monday morning, stretching its losses this year to more than 24 percent. The Philippines' main stock index ended the morning session down 2.1 percent.

Bloomberry opened Solaire on March 16 in the 100-hectare Entertainment City, a new gaming destination for Asian high-rollers. Three other casino firms, including Japan's Universal Entertainment Corp, are set to operate there within the next three years.

Industry regulator Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp (Pagcor) expects the country's gaming industry to generate total revenue of us$ 2.5 billion this year with the opening of Solaire.

By 2017, Pagcor sees annual casino revenue in the Philippines hitting us$ 10 billion with all four casino resorts in Entertainment City up and running, surpassing Singapore and Las Vegas but well below the us$ 38 billion recorded last year in Macau, the world's gambling capital. The biggest of the four projects is a us$ 2 billion casino-hotel complex planned by a unit of Japan's Universal Entertainment.

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