Port magnate Enrique Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp. says it will hire 4,500 workers for its new gaming hub Solaire Manila Resort & Casino in Entertainment City, Pasay.
A Bloomberg report said Bloomberry has already recruited 400 Filipinos working in casinos in Macau and Singapore, but still has to fill 150 management posts.
Estimates show casinos in the Philippines will employ some 40,000 Filipinos and attract a million more tourists a year.
The $1 billion Solaire Manila Resort & Casino is set to open by first quarter of 2013.
Michael French, Bloomberry chief operating officer, said the first phase of development will have a 700 room-hotel, three levels of podium that will host ballroom/convention facilities, gaming areas, restaurants, retail shops, and health and wellness facilities.
Investment for the first phase of the development is estimated at $650 million. Bloomberry expects its total investment in the area to reach $1.2 billion.
French said construction is on track with “a little over 80 percent” completed.
“Our Solaire guest room will be the biggest in Manila, about 43.5 sqm, and larger than any hotel room. It will be a luxury hotel operation, with the standards of Peninsula and Shangri-La,” said French.
“We think the gaming market is quite good in Manila. In gaming, supply builds demand. So we have found in every market that the more casino products introduced, the more business grows. We are bullish and positive in the local market and international market, which is virtually intact with Manila. We will do more marketing to bring in high roller gamers from overseas,” he said.
The Entertainment City Manila is a multibillion-dollar project of PAGCOR, covering 120 hectares of prime reclaimed land at the western portion of the Manila Bay in Parañaque City. It is also a special economic zone.
The Philippine government’s tourism blueprint, the National Tourism Development Plan, seeks to achieve 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Entertainment City’s 3,200 hotel rooms, which will have an annual capacity of one million tourists, will be among the key drivers to achieve the target.
Aside from tourist arrivals, Entertainment City is expected to generate over 20,000 jobs.
The Philippines is high on the radar screen of the global leisure and entertainment industry, Bloomberry noted.
Citigroup has tagged the Philippines as the “market to watch,” reporting that upon the completion of the integrated resorts at the Entertainment City, the total revenue that can be derived from gaming activities would most likely approximate the earnings capacity of Singapore’s integrated resorts.