Asia round-up: New Bloomberry casino on track for 2023, SJM to stay in Macau

By Louis Thompsett

CEO: Bloomberry Resorts’ Philippines casino build on track 

The CEO of Bloomberry Resorts, Enrique Razon, has revealed the company’s plan to open a new casino in Quezon City, Philippines, remains on track.  

The progress of Bloomberry’s new Solaire North casino was updated by Razon at an annual shareholder's meeting.  

Despite construction plans remaining on track, Razon also informed shareholders that the pace of construction remained limited, owing to logistical issues caused by Covid-19-related restrictions.  

Speaking to the Philippine Star, Bloomberry’s CEO gave his hopes for the Solaire North casino. 

He said: “[The casino] will 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.” 

Bloomberry Resorts already operates the Solaire Resort and Casino in Metro Manila’s Entertainment City.  

Razon is unreservedly banking on an anticipated boom in the Filipino gaming industry, it would seem.

And there is good reason for this, with banking group Morgan Stanley anticipating that the Philippines casino industry GGR will reach 85% of its pre-pandemic level by Q4 2022.  

Morgan Stanley backs up Razon’s belief that regional demand will reach a premium, while also citing a return of tourists following the easing of travel restrictions as a key factor for greater revenue.  

Razon has also expressed his hopes for online gaming— available at Bloomberry’s brick-and-mortar locations— to be a large success in the medium term.  

This follows an upward trend in the popularity of online gaming, which has grown since social distancing measures were first introduced in the country.

“[The Solaire North casino] will 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” Enrique Razon, CEO of Bloomberry Resorts

Chairman of SJM Holdings plans long-term Macau stay 

SJM Holdings’ Chairman and Executive Director, Daisy Ho Chiu Fung, has revealed the casino operator is preparing in earnest for its next concession period in Macau’s market.  

Like Macau's five other concessionaires, SJM’s current licence will expire this year, on June 26. It is currently unknown whether SJM has yet committed a $6m to extend its licence to the end of the year, as several of Macau’s other concessionaires have done.  

However, Ho remains confident that SJM will be granted a new licence by the Macanese Government, for the next ten-year concession period.  

She commented in SJM’s recently published annual report for 2021: “As of this date, the final terms and conditions of the next concessions have not entirely been determined, but we know that there will be up to six, ten-year concessions, accompanied with important regulatory changes and certain changes in the structure of the concessionaire and its assets.

“Since the draft revised gaming law was presented by the Macau government in September, we have been preparing for the tender process and confidently looking forward to our continued presence in Macau.” 

However, SJM will be looking to improve its financial books should it succeed in retaining its licence. The company has recently reported losses of $527.7m for 2021 and has also taken out a short-term extension on the maturity of its accumulated debts, until February 2023.  

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