Fresh off being named the third richest man in the Philippines by Forbes, Bloomberry chairman Enrique Razon Jr. has even more reason to smile these days.
As the man spearheading Bloomberry’s Solaire Manila resort and casino, Razon told reporters earlier this week that the integrated resort and casino is on schedule to open in the first quarter of 2013.
“We are at 70% now and construction on phase 1 should be completed by December,” Razon said.
Solaire Manila will be the first integrated resort to be built by Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts Corporation and is poised to be the first of four resorts to open in Pagcor’s much-talked about Entertainment City project. A lot of eyes from all over the region will be keen on seeing how successful Solaire Manila is going to be. Razon understands this and he’s leaving no stones unturned by hiring Las Vegas-based Global Gaming Asset Management to oversee the operations of the resort’s casino division.
It’s a smart move, too, considering that GGAM has had a hand in developing some of the most popular casinos in Asia these days, including the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Joining Razon’s Solaire Manila at Entertainment City will be three other resort and casino projects that are being built by Henry Sy’s Belle Corporation, Travellers International Hotel Group, and Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment.
The hope for the entire project is for Entertainment City to become the kind of tourist magnet that can replicate the model built by Macau. Belle Corp. vice president Willy Ocier told Rappler.com last April that if everything goes according to plan, the Philippines could capture a percentage of what Macau is estimated to earn in the coming years. “The Macau market, which is $35 billion today, will be around $50 billion by 2016 if everything goes well,” Ocier said. “The Philippines, I believe, can capture 8 to 10% of what Macau does.”
Razon is even more optimistic, telling shareholders that the Philippines can achieve bigger success than what Singapore was able to do in its first few years as a gambling destination. “Singapore’s fledgling gaming industry amassed US$6.5 billion in revenues in 2011,” he said. “I can confidently say that the Philippines’ Entertainment City can surpass what Singapore achieved in a shorter period.”
For a man that hasn’t lacked in positive vibes recently, Razon sees big things for the gambling industry in the Philippines. And to his credit, he’s doing a hell of a job proving that he can walk the walk as much as he can talk the talk.