Government and regulator drama isn’t going to stop Bloomberry from moving ahead with its new Manila area casino plans. Chairman Enrique Razon told reporters on April 11 their new Solaire Resort and Casino will break ground in June 2019, according to local outlet Business World.
The new resort will be called Solaire North, and will be located in the Vertis North project of Quezon City. “We should be done by mid-April or May, so we can come out with the announcement (for the masterplan),”Razon told reporters after a company stockholder’s meeting.
All permits have been secured, including the necessary Letter of No Objection from Quezon City Hall. “As soon as the site is clear, we’ll have the groundbreaking. Our target is June or July,” he said.
Bloomberry is pushing forward, but a fight has been dragging on between Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). The city passed an ordinance that would impose fees on locals to enter the casino, which PAGCOR argues is outside the city’s authority to regulate.
Razon is happy to let that battle happen while Bloomberry moves forward. “That ordinance came after, but PAGCOR has something to say about that. (We won’t involve ourselves in the issue. We are moving forward with the project)… But the clearance has been given by the LGU (Local government unit) and PAGCOR,” he explained.
The 40-story resort will focus more on the Quezon City and northern Manila markets, whereas Entertainment City properties have been more suited to outside tourism.
On top of the new casino, Razon discussed the construction of the Solaire Cruise Center, which is expected to start in the third quarter of 2019. It will act as a leisure destination for visiting cruise ships, increasing the attraction of Manila as a destination overall.
“With the growth of tourism, we have more and more cruise ships, we have 10 or more coming here so timing is ripe to develop that,” Razon said.