Bloomberry Anxious To Start Construction on Third Casino Resort in the Philippines

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 almost immediately begin construction on another project.

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

Bloomberry announced several months ago that it was considering a third IR in the Philippines. It already has the spot picked out, southwest of the capital of Manila in the city of Cavite on Manila Bay.

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

Firming Up the Details

Bloomberry Director for Investor Relations Jonas Isaac Ramos revealed the plans to investors, according to the Manila Standard. He explained that the company won’t get started on construction until after Solaire Resort North opens. However, he stressed that plans are to cross off some checklist items before then.

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

However, breaking ground requires another step. The company is still in the process of securing the land it wants for the IR. Bloomberry is purchasing 280 hectares (691.9 acres) for $134 million. For that to happen, it has to make sure the money is in place and that the titles are legitimate.

If it is able to successfully jump all of the hurdles, Bloomberry envisions a highly lucrative project. It believes that it could be even bigger than Solaire.

Bloomberry wants to make the Philippines the go-to destination for gamblers and travelers. It even announced in May that it will provide financial support for the Emerald Bay Casino Resort in Cebu.

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

Philippines Continues to Rebound

By the time the various IRs are operational, the Philippines should be in a good position in terms of tourism. Travel is up and continues to improve on a regular basis.

Daniel Cecilio of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) predicts that the Philippines needs several more years for its casino revenue to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. The licensing and regulatory group chief acknowledges that the industry is rebounding, but adds that progress is slow.

However, things are getting better quickly. A new update from the executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Carmelo Arcilla, should give casino operators optimism.

Arcilla stated on Friday that inbound air travel is around 70% of the level it was in 2019. Domestic travel, on the other hand, is almost 100%. As a result, the Philippines is rapidly ramping up its international tourism market.

There is still more to be done, however. Where there were previously more than 100 flights between the Philippines and China, there are now just six.

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

Arcilla is confident the Philippines is prepared. The airlines are ready to start responding to higher demand and the airports are capable of handling more traffic. Now, the only thing the country needs is for people to start traveling more.

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