Bloomberry wants to start construction on its third casino in the Philippines

Published on: August 22, 2022, 11:51 am.

Last update: 22 August 2022, 11:51.

Next year, Bloomberry Resorts Corp. hopes to open its second integrated resort (IR) in the Philippines. If it gets its way, the casino operator will begin construction on another project almost immediately.

Manila city skyline and Manila Bay, Philippines
Manila city skyline and Manila Bay, Philippines at dusk. Casino developer Bloomberry hopes to build a third casino, choosing Manila Bay as its destination. (Images: Dreamstime)

Bloomberry announced a few months ago that it is considering a third IR in the Philippines. It already has its chosen location, southwest of the capital Manila, in the city of Cavite on Manila Bay.

In an update to investors last week, the company reaffirmed its commitment to its latest project. However, Solaire Resort North must open first, and Bloomberry expects that to happen next year.

Consolidation of details

Bloomberry’s Director of Investor Relations Jonas Isaac Ramos revealed the plans to investors last week, according to The Manila Standard. He explained that the company will not start construction until after the opening of Solaire Resort North. However, he stressed that plans are to tick some items off the checklist before then.

These, he said, include site studies, environmental approvals, impact studies and more. That way, everything will be in place once Bloomberry is ready to break ground.

However, opening the ground requires one more step. The company is still in the process of securing the land it wants for IR. Bloomberry buys 280 hectares (691.9 acres) for $134 million. For this to happen, they must ensure that the money is in place and that the titles are legitimate.

If he is able to successfully overcome all obstacles, Bloomberry envisions a highly profitable project. He thinks he might be even bigger than Solaire.

Bloomberry wants to make the Philippines the destination of choice for gamers and travelers. It even announced in May that it would provide financial support for the Emerald Bay Casino Resort in Cebu.

Enrique Razon, chairman of Bloomberry, has already signed a term with Emerald Bay developer PH Resort Group. However, in an update from Inside Asian Gaming, the project is on hold due to ongoing financial issues.

The Philippines keeps coming back

Until the various IRs are operational, the Philippines should be in a good position in terms of tourism. Travel has grown and continues to improve on a regular basis.

Daniel Cecilio of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) predicts that the Philippines needs several years for casino revenues to reach pre-Covid-19 levels. The head of the licensing and regulatory group admits the industry is recovering, but adds that progress is slow.

However, things are quickly improving. A new update from the Executive Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Carmelo Arcilla, should give casino operators optimism.

Arcilla said Friday that inbound air travel is about 70 percent from 2019 levels. Domestic travel, on the other hand, is at nearly 100 percent. As a result, the Philippines is rapidly developing its international tourism market.

There is still work to be done, however. Where there used to be over 100 flights between the Philippines and China, for example, now there are only six.

China was responsible for more than 1.7 million tourist arrivals in the Philippines in 2019. The country received a total of 8.26 million that year, according to Statista.

Arcilla is confident that the Philippines is ready. Airlines are ready to start responding to higher demand and airports are able to handle more traffic. Now, the only thing the country needs is for people to start traveling more.

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