PH Resorts is confident that the “thrill” factor will lure Asian gamblers to the property it expects to open in 2021.
The Philippines.- Operator PH Resorts Group expects its US$465m project in the Philippines, Emerald Bay casino, to break even within seven years from its opening late next year.
The project is a beachfront casino resort in Mactan, Cebu, with 122 gaming tables for mass, premium mass and junket gambling, 600 electronic gaming machines and 270 hotel room bays.
PH Resorts is preparing a soft opening by the end of 2021, then plans to increase its gaming capacity and hotel rooms starting from 2022.
The operator told Bloomberg it is counting on a “strong recovery” in the Philippines market and a gradual return of international high rollers a year from now.
Rachelle Cruz, an analyst at AP Securities said: “A seven-year break-even period is a bit long, but this takes into account its smaller gaming capacity and that it’s opening in phases.”
She also believes international travel will take time to recover.
Chief Operating Officer, Jose Angel Sueiro, expects the Philippines’ gaming industry to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2022, counting on a vaccine.
He added: “People who love the thrill of being in the casino, that particular feeling to be on the tables and the slot machines, will keep coming.”
Sueiro said that access to local players is critical in the plan for Emerald Bay and that he was already in talks with 10 junket operators across Asia. He hopes to diversify instead of depending on high-rollers from China.
He believes the Cebu casino could track the 20 per cent annual growth in Manila’s gaming revenue in the past decade.
He said: “The market is there. It’s a sure thing. The desire of people to come back to the casinos, to enjoy their baccarat, the roulette and slot machines, that hasn’t changed.”