More Chinese visitors in PHL as next admin pushing bilateral talks with China, tycoon says

By , on June 8, 2016


(ShutterStock image)
(ShutterStock image)

MANILA – Casino magnate Enrique Razon, chairman of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation – the operator of Solaire Resort and Casino, is expecting higher number of Chinese visitors in the country’s gaming industry as the next administration is eyeing for bilateral talks with China.

At the sidelines of Bloomberry Annual Stockholders’ Meeting on Tuesday, Razon said bilateral discussions between the Philippines and China “will sew the relationship” of the two countries and “dramatic” increase of traffic of Chinese tourists here is expected.

“Bilateral talk (with China) will sew the relationship itself… We see increasing traffic from China, dramatically in general, to the Philippines,” said Razon.

For Bloomberry, Chinese nationals share 80 percent of very important person (VIP) visitors of its casino business while Chinese junket operators coming from Macau account for 60 percent.

The firm’s chairman added that majority of its visitors in its casino business in South Korea, Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino, are Chinese nationals.

Moreover, with the infrastructure projects rolled out during the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III around Entertainment City Manila and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Razon expects upbeat tourist arrivals and a thriving business in the gaming district in the country.

“As soon as access infrastructure to and from Entertainment City from SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) Sky Way and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport are completed, and with the arrival of new players in the next few years, this bustling tourism district is ready to compete head on and in a larger scale in terms of world class service, and first rate, total leisure and entertainment experience,” he said.

“Entertainment City Manila, home to Solaire Resort and Casino, will continue to thrive with more competition coming in,” he added.

Moreover, Bloomberry is eyeing to start a mixed-use development in Quezon City within a year.

In October 2015, the company purchased from the National Housing Authority a 15,676-square meter property in Vertis North, a planned central business district north of Metro Manila.

The company is also eyeing a casino component for its development in Quezon City through its existing license from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) which covers for up to two casino projects, said Razon.

“There’s a market there that have no easy access here: north-far of Metro Manila like Caloocan, Quezon City, and even Bulacan. It’s more on mass gaming than VIP. We have to get government approval first on that area,” he said.

“We have to go to regulatory process,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bloomberry’s total revenues increased by 7.0 percent to PHP34.4 billion in 2015 from PHP32.1 billion in 2014.