All hail: Razon remains PH casino king

BIZ BUZZ: All hail: Razon remains PH casino king

/ 02:24 AM March 13, 2024

Within the small circle of Filipino casino tycoons, billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. remains the gaming king in the country by a sizeable margin.

Data from state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) showed Razon’s Solaire Resort—owned by listed Bloomberry Resorts Corp.—as the top earning casino in 2023 with gross gaming revenues of about P61 billion.

Solaire, the first casino to open in Entertainment City a decade ago, was also the top performing casino in the Philippine gambling hub.


READ: Bloomberry nears prepandemic earnings with 2023 profit at P9.5B


Coming in at second place is Okada Manila with gaming revenues of P44.52 billion, followed by City of Dreams Manila, whose casino revenues reached P31.7 billion last year.

By the middle of 2024, Solaire Resort North is expected to open its doors in Quezon City, further cementing Razon’s lead.

READ: BIZ BUZZ: Solaire North opening countdown

Outside of Entertainment City is tycoon Andrew Tan’s Newport World Resorts Manila, which booked gaming revenues of P34.3 billion last year.

Data from Pagcor also showed that casino hubs in other parts of the country were flourishing.

The Widus Casino in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga earned gaming revenues of about P11.9 billion in the past year, followed by neighbor D’s Heights, which earned P7.9 billion. Royce Hotel and Casino, also in Clark Freeport Zone, earned P4.9 billion during this period.


The Gokongwei Group’s rising casino empire in Cebu via Nustar Resort and Casino is gaining ground after its debut in 2022. Pagcor data showed Nustar with about P5.5 billion in gaming revenues.

Overall, Philippine gambling revenues reached P285.3 billion last year—more than 70 percent coming from private licensees. It said about P17.4 billion alone was used to finance public health coverage for millions of Filipinos. —Miguel R. Camus

Ex-BAP exec joins Tonik

Former Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) managing director Cesar Virtusio has joined Tonik, the first digital bank licensee in the country, as its new independent director.

Prior to his tenure at the BAP, he served as adviser to Dresdner Bank and Dresdner Kleinwort, and was the chief representative in the Philippines.

As the managing director of BAP, Virtusio was instrumental in shaping policies and strategies that boosted the banking industry.

“Joining the Philippines’ first digital bank was a natural choice for me, as I witnessed Tonik’s unwavering commitment to pioneering innovation and prioritizing customer needs in banking,” Virtusio said.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Virtusio to our board as new independent director. His unparalleled expertise and profound insights into the banking industry are invaluable assets that will undoubtedly propel Tonik forward in our mission to revolutionize digital banking in the Philippines. His leadership and vision align perfectly with our commitment to providing innovative financial solutions to our customers,” Tonik CEO and founder Greg Krasnov said. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Concluding PLDT’s P48-billion budget mess

The P48-billion budget overrun did not only weigh on PLDT Inc.’s financials but it also led to a class action suit being filed in a US court last year. Aggravated investors lodged a case after claiming they had lost money when the telco giant made the disclosure about the financial mess in 2022.

READ: PLDT offers $3-M settlement of budget overrun US class suit

About a year later, the Pangilinan-led company is ready to finally put everything behind it and has offered to pay $3 million—an amount already agreed upon by all parties—as settlement to plaintiffs. On Aug. 5, a hearing will be held in the hope of securing court approval for this transaction.

“If finally approved by the court at or after the Aug. 5 hearing, the settlement will resolve the US class action in its entirety as against all defendants,” it said.

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The telco player previously said this payment would not impact its bottom line for the year. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad 

TAGS: Biz Buzz, Enrique Razon Jr.

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