- Philippine-listed company interested in buying casinos outside Manila
- PAGCOR putting 17 of 46 venues up for sale in 2018
Hot on the heels of news that Chinese billionaire Lawrence Ho is interested in buying some of the casinos owned by the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), it now appears that Philippine-based company Bloomberry Resorts Corp. is also preparing a bid for a number of the venues.
PAGCOR has announced that it will be putting at least 17 of its 46 land-based casino facilities up for sale in the first quarter of 2018, and according to a Reuters report, Bloomberry – which already operates Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila – would be interested in several of them, particularly those based outside the capital.
For the time being, the company appears to be holding off making any bids until the Philippines Department of Finance sets out the regulatory guidelines for the process of privatizing its casino resorts, but speaking on Wednesday, the company’s chairman and chief executive Enrique Razon made it clear that Bloomberry is ready to compete.
“If Macau companies came to try to buy the licenses, we would try to compete with them to buy the licenses.”
Bloomberry is the second company to express an interest in buying PAGCOR properties, following the comments of Lawrence Ho, who is on record as saying that the acquisition of the PAGCOR casinos could put the company he heads – Melco Resorts & Entertainment – in a strong strategic position in the Philippines.
The Philippines has experienced a casino boom in recent years. Earlier in 2017 Udenna Corp and Calata Corp have both expressed an interest in building integrated resorts on the holiday island of Cebu, while Bloomberry has also revealed that it intends to build another casino in Manila, though this will be based outside PAGCOR’s Entertainment City.
But at the same time that he indicated his company’s interest in the PAGCOR casinos, Razon also offered some advice to the Philippine government over the dangers posed by oversupply and cannibalization in the nation’s casino industry:
“Cannibalization – it is always possible, over investment. With liquidity nowadays and (low) interest rates, people are making investments that 10 years ago (they) wouldn’t even think about, those kinds of returns.”
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