Bloomberry denies Thailand casino expansion reports

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Reports emerged this week suggesting that Enrique ‘Ricky’ Razon, Filipino billionaire and chair of Bloomberry, could consider expansion in Thailand. The article on Bilyonaryo.com says Razon has shown an interest in opening a resort casino in Thailand.

Bloomberry has now hit back, issuing a notice to the Philippine Stock Exchange distancing itself from the reports. However, Bloomberry said legal gambling in Thailand is of “market interest”.

“The article is essentially a speculation that Bloomberry “is expected” to join ‘global gaming leaders who have shown interest in establishing a resort casino in Thailand’,” Bloomberry said.

“There has been reports that Thailand is contemplating a gaming law but we have no idea what form it will be. It is of market interest. But to say that Bloomberry confirms that it has plans to expand in Thailand” is a part of the writer’s speculation. There is no such plan.”

Bloomberry is currently focused on casino operations in South Korea and the Philippines. The group operates one integrated resort in each country, with a second Filipino location opening last week.

Casino giants eye Thailand

While Bloomberry seemingly has no immediate plans to launch in Thailand, other leaders have declared an interest.

Speaking during its Q1 earnings call, Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings said the operator is considering options to establish casinos in Thailand and New York

Billings admits it is “very early days” in the process of launching in Thailand, with full details yet to emerge on regulations and licensing structures. However, he said Wynn is very much interested in making the move.

“Thailand is already a major tourism destination with significant tourism infrastructure and a world class service culture,” Billings said. “We will continue to closely monitor advancement of the legalisation process.”

Another operator to have shown interest is Las Vegas Sands. Speaking last month, CEO and chairman Robert Goldstein said the operator “absolutely” has an interest in Thailand.

“It’s a very, very exciting market in a lot of levels,” he said. “Just the sheer size of population, the accessibility and the willingness of people travel to Thailand. It’s obviously, I think, number one resort destination city in Asia.

“It could even happen quicker than Japan. I think it’s conceivable. It’s early days, although we still have work to do with the numbers and understanding it.”

Thailand ahead of Japan on casino goals 

Goldstein is not the only individual to have drawn parallels between Thailand and Japan in terms of legalising casinos. 

Earlier this month, Muhammad Cohen penned a special two-part series on the situation in Thailand. This includes a look at Thailand is now ahead of Japan in terms of legalising casinos and gambling, but still faces sizeable challenges.

Part two of the series considers how Thai casino legalisation may defy more conventional wisdom but could offer significant growth potential to leading operators. 

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