Philippine casino operator Waterfront Philippines Inc said in a Friday filing that it had been informed by its legal counsels that a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court related to a provisional gaming licence for a casino hotel in Manila “has become final”. The court’s decision had been announced in February.
The case dates back to 2015, when the Philippines-listed company first filed a ‘petition for mandamus’, saying it had submitted all requirements for a provisional gaming licence for a casino hotel in the country’s capital, Manila. Waterfront Philippines said that the country’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), was ignoring its application.
Waterfront Philippines had announced a decade ago plans for a casino resort at Entertainment City, dubbed Grand Waterfront Hotel and Casino, including a hotel with 2,500 rooms.
Last year the Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling, saying the arguments raised by Pagcor in a second appeal to that court had already been considered in the 2018 decision. In the original decision, the appellate court had affirmed the ruling of Manila Regional Trial Court, which had said Pagcor must act on Waterfront Philippines’ application for a licence.
The case reached the country’s Supreme Court, which in February this year “denied the petition of Pagcor … for failure to sufficiently show any reversible error in the judgements of both the Manila Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals,” according to Friday’s filing.
“In October 2020, Waterfront Philippines received notice from its legal counsels that the Supreme Court decision has become final and executory by being recorded in the Book of Entries and Judgements,” stated the company.
It added: “The issuance of a casino licence will have a favourable effect on Waterfront Philippines’ business or operations once the pandemic is over.”
In a separate filing on Friday, Waterfront Philippines said it has narrowed its net loss in the third quarter, despite Covid-19. The firm runs two casino hotels in the holiday province of Cebu, and one in Manila – the latter currently undergoing “reconstruction and restoration” following a fire in 2018.
Third-quarter net loss for Waterfront Philippines was just below PHP35.86 million (US$740,641), down 24.3 percent from just above PHP47.38 million in the same quarter in 2019.
Group revenue for the three months to September 30 was down 70.6 percent, to nearly PHP168.1 million, versus PHP571.4 million a year earlier. But quarterly expenses moderated by 59.5 percent year-on-year, to PHP203.9 million.
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