More details have emerged on Bloomberry Resorts Corp’s plans to invest more than US$1 billion in a casino resort complex in South Korea.
It would include residential towers and a beach resort, as well as gaming – subject to casino licence approval by the South Korean authorities. The aim would be to break ground on the project in 2017, Philippines’ media reported.
“It will still be more than US$1 billion eventually because we have residential towers; you [sic] have hotels, a beach resort, because it’s a beautiful beach property right within the city. It’s a unique property,” the Philippines’ BusinessMirror newspaper on Friday quoted Enrique Razon, chairman of Bloomberry Resorts, as saying.
In a filing on Monday to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Bloomberry Resorts confirmed the aim is for “a leisure and tourism complex with entertainment facilities and mixed use development (residential and commercial).” The company confirmed it was also seeking a gaming licence for the development, via the South Korean authorities.
Bloomberry Resorts is owner and operator of a US$1.2-billion casino property called Solaire Resort and Casino, which opened in March 2013 at Manila Bay in the Philippines capital.
Referring to other comments attributed last week in the Philippines media to Mr Razon, Monday’s filing stated: “The chairman was talking about plans of Bloomberry Resorts for the 12.2 hectare [30.1-acre] Muui Island [plot] and [the] 20.96 hectares Silmi Island properties in Korea which were acquired through Bloomberry Resorts’s subsidiary Solaire Korea Co Ltd.”
In January, Bloomberry Resorts said it was purchasing a plot of land on Muui Island, part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone. Last month it said it was buying the whole of neighbouring Silmi Island, also in the economic zone, close to Incheon International Airport, which serves South Korea’s capital Seoul.
Last week’s media reports and the filing from Bloomberry Resorts did not however clarify whether the project would include just one casino property or two separate casinos, one in each site.
Bloomberry Resorts in March also said it had signed an agreement to acquire up to 92 percent of Golden and Luxury Co Ltd, which owns and operates T.H.E. Hotel and Vegas Casino on South Korea’s southern holiday destination Jeju Island.
The latest filing did not mention if Golden and Luxury Co would be involved in the running any part of the Incheon initiative, were a licence approved.
Mr Razon was however quoted on Friday in local media saying Bloomberry Resorts might seek a local partner for Incheon, in order to provide it with local expert knowledge.
Referring to the land at Muui Island and to Silmi Island, Bloomberry Resorts stated in its Monday filing: “There is a bridge now under construction by the South Korean government and [it] is expected to be completed by 2017 to connect Muui Island with the Incheon International Airport and the rest of Incheon Free Economic Zone.”
The company added: “Bloomberry Resorts is still working on the development plans for an application for a gaming licence which will require an investment requirement of at least US$1 billion.”
In comments published in the BusinessMirror on Friday, Mr Razon was quoted saying of its Incheon intiative: “It’s a multipurpose development. It’s not just a casino and a hotel. There is a residential aspect [and] a commercial aspect. It’s an entire planned sort of tourism community.”
The report added that Bloomberry Resorts would still “peruse the project” – in the words of the Business Mirror newspaper – even if gaming were not approved. “There is that risk, in which case it will be purely a commercial development for tourism,” Mr Razon was quoted saying.
Mr Razon was reported as speaking on the sidelines of the stockholders’ meeting of International Container Terminal Services Inc, which Mr Razon’s family also founded and which owns most of the Philippines’ major ports.
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