Bloomberry to open entertainment complex in 1st quarter of 2013By Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Bloomberry Resorts Corp. is on track to open its integrated gaming and entertainment complex Solaire Manila by the first quarter of 2013, becoming the first gaming operator to debut in Pagcor City.
Bloomberry president and chief operating officer Michael French told reporters at the sidelines of Monday’s forum organized by The Asset Magazine and the Financial Executives of the Philippines that Solaire Manila would open full blast. In terms of construction, French described the project as “a little over 80 percent” completed.
“We intend to be a major destination in Manila,” French said.
“We think that the gaming market is quite good in Manila. Supply builds demand instead of demand building supply,” he said.
Like in the case of Macau where he was based before moving to the Philippines to head Bloomberry, French said the more players in the market, the better it would be for the whole gaming industry.
“A good example is to look at the success of the Resorts World (in Newport City). It has not taken away revenues from existing Pagcor casinos,” he said.
Asked about a bill in Congress proposing to increase casino taxes and impose a P1,000 entrance fee, French said the proposed law would cover only the existing state-owned casinos operated by Pagcor. “To my understanding, it doesn’t affect Solaire,” he said.
In line with requirements, Bloomberry will complete the building of 700 hotel rooms in time for the opening of its casino. The hotel will be under the group’s own brand Solaire, which will offer bigger guest rooms that will be around 43.5 square meters and catering to the high-end market, according to French.
Bloomberry has been keen on expanding its hotel operations beyond the minimum requirement, French said, noting that the group had started the foundation work for expansion. One year after the opening of the gaming complex, he said, Solaire Manila would offer 300 more guest rooms and some retail space.
The gaming firm recently completed a $210-million fund-raising from the place-out of shares to new investors, and will use the proceeds to develop the first phase of its complex in Pagcor City.
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