Bloomberry mulls sale of Korean casino, second Manila venue targets mass market

bloomberry-resorts-jeju-sun-south-korea-casinoPhilippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts is considering selling its recently acquired casino on South Korea’s Jeju island.

On Friday, Bloomberry filed a notice with the Philippine Stock Exchange to address media reports that it was looking to sell the Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino, one of eight foreigners-only casinos on the island.

Bloomberry’s brief notice confirmed that selling Jeju Sun is “one of the options it is looking at. However, no agreement has been signed yet with respect there to to date.”

There’s no question that Jeju Sun hasn’t been the cash cow Bloomberry might have hoped when it acquired the property in April 2015 via Bloomberry’s Solaire Korea Co Ltd subsidiary.

Bloomberry’s Q1 report said Jeju Sun generated gaming revenue of PHP 23.3m (US $500k) in Q1 2016 while recording a net loss of PHP 198m ($4.3m). Bloomberry claimed the property was still ‘in the process of ramping up its gaming business” after last year’s refurbishment.

Jeju Sun was closed from May until September 2015 for renovations, then was forced to close for a 30-day period ending December 15 as a penalty for the previous owners’ casual approach to paying taxes.

Meanwhile, Bloomberry is forging ahead with its plans to build a second casino in Manila. Bloomberry, which operates the Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila’s Entertainment City, is planning to build a separate “mixed use” venue in Quezon City’s Central Business District.

Speaking at this month’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Bloomberry boss Enrique Razon said work on the 1.5-hectare property would get underway by mid-2017. Unlike Solaire, which caters primarily to a VIP and premium mass clientele, the new Manila venue will cater to mass market locals, a segment that Razon said “doesn’t have easy access” to Solaire.