A regulatory ordinance that would ultimately permit Bloomberry Resorts Corp to open a new casino complex in Quezon City, on the outskirts of the Philippine capital Manila, is under discussion.
That is according to comments from Joy Belmonte, vice mayor of Quezon City, as cited on Thursday by the Philippine Daily Inquirer news outlet.
No timetable for such an ordinance was mentioned in the report.
“I understand the benefits economically,” Ms Belmonte was quoted as saying of the gaming scheme. “We talked with some councillors, and we came up with a gambling regulatory ordinance in Quezon City,” she added.
The official further stated that the local leadership of the Catholic Church had not presented active objections, provided current members of its congregation were not employed there. The majority of the nation’s population is Roman Catholic and the church is perceived as retaining a significant influence on public policy in that country.
Enrique Razon, Bloomberry Resorts’ chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the firm’s fourth-quarter and full-year results this week as saying ground breaking on the scheme was anticipated for “this year”.
Bloomberry Resorts said last month that two of its subsidiaries had signed an agreement for a 10-year loan worth PHP40 billion (US$765.7 million), with the proceeds to be used “to partially finance the design, construction and development of an integrated hotel and gaming resort located at the Vertis North Complex in Quezon City, Metro Manila”.
According to the Philippine Inquirer’s Thursday report, Vertis North is due to be completed by 2022. The news outlet also indicated the new casino would carry the same “Solaire” branding as Bloomberry Resorts’ existing Metro Manila property, Solaire Resort and Casino at Entertainment City.
According to previous reports, the Quezon City scheme pre-dates a 2018 moratorium on new casino schemes announced by the nation’s gaming regulator following an instruction from the country’s leader, President Rodrigo Duterte.
In June 2016, Mr Razon told the media that he planned to build a mass-market focused casino in Quezon City.
Quezon City, an urban area to the northeast of the country’s administrative capital, is part of the Eastern Manila District. That district in turn makes up part of a larger administrative area known as Metro Manila.
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