Japan parliament approves promotion bill
Bloomberry Resorts Corp. will likely push for a gaming license in Japan after the Japanese parliament passed a casino promotion bill allowing the establishment of casinos in Japan.
Bloomberry owner and chairman Enrique Razon told reporters on the sidelines of the Pilipinas Conference that the company is reconsidering its options to enter the Japanese casino market after the positive ruling on integrated casino resorts.
“Japan is the biggest market in Asia outside of China. It’s a very interesting market, a very good market,” Razon said.
In 2014, the Bloomberry chairman noted that talks with a potential Japanese partner have been stalled due to Japan’s resistance to legalize the operation of integrated casino resorts.
Pachinko mainly covers the Japanese gaming industry, estimated at about ¥20 trillion per year, but most forms of gaming and gambling is illegal in Japan.
Jeju casino sale ‘fell through’
Bloomberry’s plan to sell its South Korean casino “fell through” after the buyer opted out.
“We had the sale already done but it fell through. I think they ran out of money,” Razon said.
Earlier in June, Bloomberry subsidiary Solaire Korea Co. Ltd. agreed to sell its 96.23 percent stake in Golden & Luxury Co. Ltd.—the owner and operator of Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino —to a unit of Iao Kun Group Holding Company Limited for 117.5 billion Korean won or about P4.75 billion.
Razon said the group is “not in a hurry” to divest its interests in Jeju Sun because of the business is looking good.
“Business is starting to pick up slowly in Jeju, so we’re not in a hurry,” he said, adding the group is “not so active” in finding buyers of the South Korean casino.
As of end-September, Bloomberry’s net income reached P1.6 billion in the first nine months of the year, which is a significant P3.1-billion swing from a net loss of P1.509 billion the same time last year. This was due to profits streams from full blown operations of Solaire Resort & Casino (P1.95 billion) and some contributions from Jeju Sun.
Bloomberry operates the Solaire Resorts & Casino, the first of the four integrated resort, hotel, and casino developments within the Entertainment City complex in Paranaque City.
The other casinos include the SM group’s City of Dreams, the soon-to-open $2.4-billion Okada Manila, and the upcoming Westside City of businessman Andrew Tan’s Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.