Philippine bidder eyes casino license
On December 18 the company submitted an “indication of interest in bidding for the Cyprus integrated resort project,” Bloomberry’s director of investor relations Leo Venezuela told the Nikkei Asian Review.
The company was particularly attracted to the 15-year exclusive contract offered by the Cyprus gaming authorities, Venezuela added, although he did not say what the minimum investment requirement would be.
In all, eight companies have submitted bids, with the Commerce, Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry confirming it has received a total of eight bids, with five bids to be set aside as the competition moves forward with three finalists.
In August, the government permitted the establishment of a casino to boost tourism and may issue a gaming license by next year, various reports indicate. Hong Kong-listed Naga Corp. is also reportedly bidding for the gaming license.
Bloomberry, which operates the almost three-year-old Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila, has been aggressively branching out overseas, from South Korea to Buenos Aires in Argentina, where it has proposed to build an integrated resort.
In South Korea, the company early this year took over a small hotel and casino on Jeju Island and plans to establish a bigger one on its property near Incheon, gaming license there.
Despite its aggressive expansion into new markets, Bloomberry has not escaped the negative effect of China’s anti-corruption crackdown, which targeted Chinese big casino spenders, and which has hammered Asian gaming stocks.
The identities of the bidders have not been revealed but the media have been openly sharing names they feel are the companies showing interest in the casino license. Among the five bidders identified so far are Hard Rock International of
is granted a the United States, NagaCorp of Cambodia, Bloomberry Resorts Corp in the Philippines, a French venture that includes Bouygues Batiment International Accord Hotels and casino operator Barriere of France. A conglomerate of Russian interests is also interested in the license, including Absolut, a firm involved in property and banking.
It was believed that the Genting company of Malaysia and Sun International of South Africa were interested but withdrew their bid late. Caesars Entertainment showed interest in the past but with bankruptcy issues, they have opted to not focus on a new project as far as we can ascertain at this point.
Now, the eight companies vying for the license will be cut down to three within a 45 day time frame. This will be after the government reviews the prospective projects and will continue to narrow down the candidates until 2016 when the license will be awarded. The winner will have two years to create the gaming facility.
Legislation allows for a gaming facility to be created with 100 gaming table minimum and 1,000 electronic gaming machines. The casino can be built anywhere the operator is able to create a deal, as long as the land is private. The winning bidder will be able to construct a small casino immediately. Along with the revenue generating first facility, three satellite, slots-only casinos are allowed to be built in addition to the massive integrated resort, the first of its kind ever to be built in Europe.