Bloomberry profit tumbles 38% on Solaire casino closure


bloomberry-solaire-casino-revenuePhilippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts took a profit beating in the first quarter of 2020, mostly due to a one-fifth decline in VIP gambling action.

Bloomberry, which operates the Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming zone, reported net revenue of P9.4b (US$186m) in the three months ending March 31, down 13% from the same period last year. Earnings fell 23% to P3.5b and net profit slid 38% to P1.4b.

Solaire, which was forced to close on March 16 as Manila was ordered into COVID-19 lockdown, reported gross gaming revenue of P12.2b, a 16% year-on-year decline. Contra revenue accounts, aka payments to junket operators, fell 7% to P3.7b as VIPs opted to sit out the pandemic at home.

Solaire’s VIP gambling turnover fell nearly 19% to P150.8b, which pushed VIP revenue down 21% to P4.73b. Mass table drop fell 14.6% to P9.7b but mass hold jumped 5.4 points to 40.5%, leaving mass table revenue basically flat at P3.93b. Slots volume was down 1%, while slots revenue fell 2.2% to P3.55b.

In South Korea, Bloomberry’s Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino reported revenue of P93.1m, down nearly two-thirds year-on-year as the property began a phased shutdown in the first week of March, going completely dark as of March 21.

Non-gaming revenue was down 10% to P.17b, nearly all of which came via Solaire. Solaire’s hotel occupancy slid from 93.1% in Q1 2019 to just 67.3% in the most recent quarter.

Bloomberry’s net receivables (primarily VIP gambling markers) totaled P2.4b at the end of Q1, down 22% year-on-year, primarily due to the lack of VIPs to whom Solaire could offer credit. Still, Bloomberry wrote of P155.6m in bad debts in Q1, representing 5% of the total outstanding.

Manila learned this week that its ‘enhanced community quarantine’, at least, the rules applying to casinos, would extend through the end of this month. In April, Bloomberry boss Enrique Razon Jr. stated that he was effectively writing off 2020 as a lost cause for his businesses.

On Thursday, Razon said Bloomberry looked forward to Solaire’s eventual reopening but warned that the company expected “a slow recovery as our patrons, customers and employees adjust to the ‘new normal.’” But Razon ended on an optimistic note, saying his company “will have clear, effective, comforting and consistently implemented protocols that will instill a true sense of safety and security for all.”