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Philippines – Philippine operators hope for smoking reprieve

By - 13 June 2016

The Philippine sector is facing a fight to allow smoking on their gaming floors.

Operators are appealing to president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to allow their companies to be exempt from a smoking and liquor ban in all public places.

Kingson Sian, President and CEO of Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. (TIHGI), who owns Resorts World Manila said that operators will unite to discuss the issue next month.

“Hopefully the consultations will support what we’re saying but at the end of the day we’re a law abiding association and we will abide by the law,” he advised.

The Philippine sector is due to see a raft of new openings with Kazuo Okada’s Tiger Resort set to open this year.

In the first quarter of 2016, Bloomberry, Melco Crown and Resorts World reported GGR of P18.1bn, marking an improvement of 6.4 per cent year-on-year. However only Melco Crown’s City of Dreams reported an increase in GGR.

Bloomberry Chairman Enrique Razon meanwhile believes that there is still an opportunity to increase the number of international players at its casino to boost revenues further and prevent future projects from cannibalising the sector. He explained that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was introducing a more diplomatic attitude towards China than his predecessor Benigno Aquino. He is expected to hold talks with Beijing regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea which are bad for business.

Chinese customers account for around 40 per cent of the VIP revenues at Solaire. Mr. Razon believes that the relationship between the countries could thaw further allowing more Chinese players to visit.

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