Billionaire Enrique Razon Steps Up Expansion Of Philippine Casino Empire
Billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. is stepping up the expansion of his Philippine casino empire, with his Bloomberry Resorts Corp. planning to build an integrated casino resort in the province of Cavite, south of Manila.
Bloomberry, operator of the Solaire casino resort in Manila, has agreed to buy 2.8 million square meters of waterfront properties in Ternate, Cavite, about two hours’ drive from the Philippine capital, for 7.55 billion pesos ($144.6 million) from a group of landowners including Boulevard Holdings and Puerto Azul Land, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
The property will be developed into an integrated resort and entertainment complex with a world class casino, hotel and golf course as well as commercial and residential buildings. The project will be implemented once the Solaire casino resort in Quezon City in northern Metro Manila starts operating, Bloomberry said.
The Cavite expansion comes about a week after Bloomberry signed a deal to invest in Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s casino resort projects in the central Philippine island of Cebu and at the former Clark Airbase in Pampanga, north of Manila. Bloomberry also has a stake in the Jeju Hotel & Casino in South Korea.
Razon is expanding his casino resort footprint across the Philippines as Bloomberry returned to profitability for the first time in two years as the government relaxes Covid-19 restrictions. Last week, the company reported a net profit of 679.4 million pesos in the three months ended March 31, reversing the year-earlier losses of 780.8 million, as gross gaming revenues climbed 30% to 6.9 billion pesos.
“For the first time in eight quarters, we recorded positive net earnings on growth driven by our domestic mass gaming segment,” Razon, chairman and CEO of Bloomberry, said in a statement. “Business and pandemic conditions permitting, we look to sustain the recovery for the rest of the year.”
Razon—who also has the controlling stake in global port giant International Container Terminal Services Inc.—has also been stepping up investments in utilities in recent years. In June 2021, Trident Water, a subsidiary of his infrastructure-focused Prime Strategic Holdings, took control of water utility Manila Water from Ayala Corp. Razon has a net worth of $6.3 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time data.