In the Philippines, the billionaire businessman behind local casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corporation has reportedly revealed that the firm may be interested in purchasing some of the 46 gambling establishments earmarked for sale by the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) regulator.
In an interview with the Reuters news service concerning possible overinvestment in the Asian nation’s casino sector, Enrique Razon reportedly also stated that he was waiting for further details from the government as to how any possible future sale may work.
Razon is ranked as the Philippines’ third-richest person with assets of around $4.4 billion and controls Bloomberry Resorts Corporation via his 65.58% share in parent firm Prime Metroline Holdings Incorporated. The 57-year-old businessman earned around $74.58 million earlier this month after selling off 3.18% of his stake in the casino operator and told the news service that the company was still hoping to build a smaller gambling venue in Quezon City catering mainly to locals.
Manila-listed Bloomberry Resorts Corporation opened the $1.2 billion Solaire Resort and Casino in 2013 and additionally holds a majority stake in the firm behind South Korea’s Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino.
Razon additionally told Reuters that the operator would have an advantage in buying the PAGCOR-owned casinos due to already being well established in the local market.
“We are not the ones coming in creating the oversupply,” Razon reportedly told Reuters. “It is tougher for the entrant. If Macau companies came to try to buy the licenses, we would try to compete with them to buy the licenses.”
Following his inauguration as the island nation’s 16th president some 15 months ago, Rodrigo Duterte reportedly instructed PAGCOR to begin selling off its casino estate in order to raise funds for the state and rid the enterprise of any possible conflict of interest concerns. Although the country’s Privatization Council is still studying how to price the venues and their associated licenses, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez reportedly declared earlier this month that up to 17 venues could be offloaded in an inaugural round of disposals in 2018.