Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp’s under-construction Solaire North casino in Quezon City, northeast of the capital Manila, remains “on track to open in 2023,” said the firm’s chairman and chief executive, Enrique Razon (pictured in a file photo), at its annual meeting for stockholders, held on Thursday.
The entrepreneur added however that “the pace of construction remains limited”.
Solaire North is scheduled to open in the second half of 2023, according to Bloomberry’s annual report. The firm already runs a large-scale venue, Solaire Resort and Casino, in Entertainment City in Metro Manila.
Mr Razon said – as cited by the Philippine Star news outlet – that the new property would “profoundly expand our gaming footprint to take advantage of what we anticipate to be a burgeoning post-pandemic domestic mass [market] and regional premium mass demand.”
Philippine casino industry gross gaming revenue (GGR) could reach 85 percent of pre-pandemic level by the fourth quarter this year, said banking group Morgan Stanley in a Tuesday note. The institution cited factors including domestic demand, and the reopening of the country to foreign tourists.
Aggregate GGR at Solaire in 2021 was PHP27.6 billion (US$527.2 million), 21.7 percent higher compared to 2020, Bloomberry Resorts had said in its fourth-quarter and annual results issued in March.
The company posted a net loss of PHP4.2 billion for the year, an improvement compared to a loss of PHP8.3 billion in 2020.
In other Thursday comments by Mr Razon, quoted by the Business Mirror, the executive said he was “hopeful” that online gaming via its bricks and mortar operation at Solaire would in the “medium term” be a “large part of the business”. That online business began in November 2020 amid the pandemic.
“So far it has grown strongly and has been delivering substantial revenues monthly from zero a year-and-a-half ago, and we are highly confident in this development and have been focusing on this area,” added Mr Razon, as cited by Business Mirror.
Land-based casino operations for all the Entertainment City resorts were affected by periodic disruptions and varying capacity restrictions during the 2020 and 2021 trading years.
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