Solaire casino banks on high rollers

MANILA, Philippines - Solaire Resorts and Casino, the hotel-casino complex of Razon-led Bloomberry Resorts Corp., expects about half of its revenues to come from "high rollers," or those that spend as much as P50 million per visit.

"As it starts to pick up, maybe close to 50%," Dennis Andreaci, Solaire's senior vice president for gaming operations, said during the March 13 sneak preview of the Solaire complex.

Lorraine Koo, Solaire's vice president for business development and VIP services, estimates that 60% of Solaire's premium gaming business will come through intermediaries such as junket operators. In December 2012, a New York Times report said that Solaire was in talks with about two dozen companies.

Junket operators will bring in the high-end players to Solaire. Junket operators loan credit to traveling gamblers to help them bypass currency restrictions, as well as arrange accommodation and other needs of the VIPs for a smooth transfer from one casino hub to the next.

Koo said that they expect VIPs to come from Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Koo said that low-tier VIPs are expected to spend about P2.5 million per visit, way lower than the high-end players' spending of as much as P50 million per visit.


Andreaci added that it would probably take 6 months before Solaire becomes a viable option for gamblers in the region.

Andreaci said that Solaire would not be competing with existing and nearby casinos, such as Genting Hong Kong's Resorts World Manila.

"We're coming into the market with a high level position," he said. Solaire COO Michael French echoed the sentiment, likening Resorts World Manila to commercial establishments, like SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City and Solaire to Greenbelt mall in Makati City.  

Solaire is set to open on Saturday, March 16. It is the first casino to open in Pagcor's Entertainment City.

The $1.2 billion development entertainment venue has 300 gaming tables, 1,200 slot machines and 7 restaurants. -