Bloomberry Resorts – controlled by port-to-energy billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. – is preparing to open its second casino resort in the Philippines after the company returned to the black last year amid a post-pandemic recovery in gaming revenue.
The Philippine-listed company said late Thursday it posted a net profit of 5.1 billion pesos ($93 million) in 2022, compared with a net loss of 4.2 billion pesos a year earlier, as gross gaming revenue in flagship Solaire Resort & Casino near the country’s main international airport jumped 81% to 50.1 billion pesos.
“Solaire benefited from a strong recovery in local demand across all business lines,” said Razon, Bloomberry’s president and CEO. “Our gaming revenue reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels, driven by mass table games and home-focused gaming machines.”
With gaming revenue recovering, Bloomberry is ramping up construction of Solaire Resort North — which cost about $1 billion to develop — in Quezon City, north of the Philippine capital, Manila. The property will begin commercial operations by the first quarter of 2024, Razon said.
Bloomberry has been developing Solaire North on a 1.5-hectare site in Ayala Land’s Vertis North central business district since mid-2019, but construction was hampered during the pandemic. Solaire North will feature a hotel tower with up to 550 rooms and a gaming area with up to 200 gaming tables and up to 3,000 slot machines.
Solaire North’s opening comes amid a gaming boom, with consultancy firm GCG Gaming Advisory Services predicting that gross gaming revenue in the Philippines will double to $10 billion by 2027 from pre-pandemic levels of around $5 billion . To capitalize on this growing demand, Bloomberry plans to expand its casino empire across the country.
Bloomberry, which also has a stake in South Korea’s Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino, plans to build another casino resort in Cavite, south of Manila, where it has already acquired beachfront properties. It plans to begin development of the Cavite project once Solaire North begins commercial operation. The company is also conducting due diligence on a potential investment in tycoon Dennis Uy’s casino projects on the central Philippine island of Cebu and at the former Clark Air Force Base, north of the capital.
In addition to Bloomberry, Razon is also the controlling shareholder of global port giant International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) as well as privately held Prime Infrastructure Capital, which has built its portfolio of utilities, natural gas and renewables. He has a net worth of $6.6 billion, according to Forbesreal time data.