PH casino operator eyes South Korea expansion
MANILA, Philippines – Bloomberry Resorts Corporation eyes to invest more than $1 billion to develop a tourism community in South Korea.
The country’s biggest casino operator earlier signed 4 real estate agreements with several landowners owning a combined 12.2 hectare property within the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ).
“(It) is intended to be developed into a leisure and tourism complex with entertainment facilities and mixed use developments," Bloombery disclosed in March. The company would acquire the property through its subsidiary, Solaire Korea Company Limited.
Bloomberry Chairman Enrique K. Razon Jr. said in an interview on the sidelines of International Container Terminal Services Incorporated's (ICTSI) annual stockholders' meeting Thursday, April 16, that the company is now in the process of securing gaming license from the South Korean government to jumpstart construction of the whole development.
“We are presenting the master plan to the [South Korean] government in our application for a gaming license,” Razon said.
The minimum investment to qualify for a gaming license in South Korea is $1 billion, but the planned leisure and tourism complex with entertainment facilities and mixed use developments could cost higher, Razon added.
Bloomberry eyes to start the development by 2017.
Razon said the company is currently in talks with potential South Korean joint venture partners for the project.
Apart from allowing the company to diversify its revenue source, Razon said Bloomberry’s venture in South Korea is going to be “good business” for the company given the increasing tourist arrivals in Korea.
Bloomberry, through its unit Solaire Korea Company Limited earlier acquired Silmi and Muui islands, both located in the Greater Incheon area and within the coverage of the IFEZ. It also purchased up to 92% of Golden & Luxury Compnay Limited, owner and operator of T.H.E. Hotel & Vegas Casino in Jeju Island, South Korea.
Bloomberry is also waiting for the Japan parliament to pass a gaming law before making investment plans in the country.
Outside of Asia, Bloomberry is also looking at Latin America for further expansion.
“I guess the market has increased with the opening of City of Dreams Manila,” Razon said.
City of Dreams Manila, operated by Melco Crown, opened on February 2. It was the second integrated resort and gaming complex to open within the government-sponsored PAGCOR Entertainment City. – Rappler.com
Incheon image from Wikipedia