As the market in Macau slides into recession, another gaming jurisdiction in the region is booming. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Travellers International Hotel Group, which owns Resorts World Manila, doubled its net profit to 5.45 billion pesos (1.6 million) in 2014. Bloomberry Resorts, which operates the Solaire Resort & Casino, saw a net profit of 4.07 billion pesos (US1 million), a dramatic change from its opening year, 2013, when it reported a net loss of 1.32 billion pesos.
Despite the overall increase in profits, Resorts World’s gaming revenues dropped 5 percent to 28.41 billion pesos. Analysts say the decline was due in part to new competition from Solaire, and also due to the resort’s move away from VIP players. The emphasis on mass-market play, however, has helped to shield the market from catastrophic losses such as those seen in Macau and Singapore. Meanwhile, Solaire’s gross gaming revenues doubled to 30.39 billion pesos.
At the February grand opening of City of Dreams Manila, Melco Crown Co-Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho affirmed that the target customer for the Manila resort is “first and foremost the domestic market,” followed by VIPs from other Southeast Asian countries and visitors from South Korea.
Two more mega-casinos are planned for Manila Bay: one from Travellers, and one from Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment. The latter resort was originally slated for completion this year, but the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) just granted a two-year extension to Universal, which has said it will invest an additional US$700 million on the resort and increase its total area by 97,000 square meters (1.04 million square feet).
Okada’s Universal Entertainment has been investigated for corruption in the Philippines, Japan and the United States, but the company has announced that the probe in the Philippines is over. Okada made the announcement in a filing to JASDAQ, and added that the company expects related inquiries in the U.S. to be closed for “lack of evidence.”
The grand opening of Tiger Entertainment’s Manila Bay Resorts has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2017, according to Innovategaming.com.