An improvement in tourism numbers as well as infrastructure within the Philippines may give the country an opportunity to see their casino sector outperform Singapore in the near future. Speaking with CNBC late last week, Bloomberry Resorts Corp. Enrique Razon was positive in his comments about the Philippines and how he feels the country may be able to become the top gambling destination in Southeast Asia.
In the interview, Razon stated that with more properties coming online, the size of the Philippine market should be increased. In the medium to long-term scale, Razon feels that everyone will do well. Razon has been a strong supporter of the gambling policy changes made by President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, with continued plans to bet on the country instead of taking his investments elsewhere.
Razon was asked in the interview why he feels that the Philippines could surpass Singapore and become the top gambling destination in the region and he stated that since Duterte took power in 2016, relations between the Philippines and China have started to warm up. Relations between Manila and Beijing are improving and Razon feels that this will help to see tourism numbers improve in the future.
The Bloomberry Executive stated that travel restrictions to the Philippines have been lifted by China after Duterte visited the country and this has helped with tourism numbers. The administration under Duterte has also spent more time on infrastructure which Razon pointing out that this could help improve business prospects for the gaming sector.
Razon has been busy in the country, with plans to have four casinos in operation within the next five to six years. He invested $1.2 billion in the Solaire Resort in 2013, which is located in the area known as Entertainment City, to begin his foray into the casino industry of the Philippines. He also announced last year that he would be working on a second casino in Quezon City. This resort has a cost of P20 billion which is equal to $418 million US dollars. The resort should be completed by 2019 and include a hotel, convention center and shops.