The Chairman and CEO of Bloomberry Resorts, Enrique Razon has this week unveiled plans to construct a “mixed-use development with a hotel and casino.” The project is expected to cost PHP1.9 billion (USD$40.5 million.) and will be built in the Quezon City area, according to the 'Philippine Star' news report. Upon completion, the resort will cover 1.5 hectares of land in the Quezon City Central Business District, and will be loosely based on the Solaire Resorts & Casino design, which is situated in Paranaque. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) have granted a license to Bloomberry Resorts, which allows for two entirely separate developments.
The new build will occupy the Vertis North development in the North Triangle property, an area which spans 45 hectares, and is some 23 kilometres away from the popular Solaire resort. Razon indicated that development will begin in 2017 for an opening in 2019.
Oversupply of Casinos?
This latest news report comes as something of a surprise, seemingly contradicting Razon's earlier statement that the casino industry in Manila was a case of “too many, too fast.” Bloomberry already own and operate the Solaire Casino, and posted USD$91 million profits in 2014. Worryingly though, net profits for 2015 were in fact losses – to the tune of USD$72.8 million. Razon has warned that the market is not growing as fast as the industry hopes. There are three fully operational integrated resorts already in Manila, namely, Resorts World, Solaire, and Melco Crown's City of Dreams Manila. There are already two more in development. Manila Bay Resorts, Kazuo Okada's project, looks set to open before the end of the year, with Resorts World Bayshore scheduled to open in 2018.
A focus on the mass market and the locals
Govertsen is of the belief that opening a casino in a place that has almost no existing gaming establishment is a sensible idea. He made the following statement: “We believe that the majority of GGR generated at the various Manila-area IRs and legacy casinos is derived from persons living there (locals and expats). As such, with Bloomberry’s Quezon project being developed in an area even further from the airport, the entire focus of this project should be mass market locals. This, along with a smaller footprint, and a less complicated building process, argues for a much lower development cost on a per-square-foot basis.”