Philippine gaming parlour operator PhilWeb Corp has acquired an e-Games venue near Manila for a consideration equal to PHP3 million (US$56,122), PhilWeb told the country’s Stock Exchange.
The PhilWeb subsidiary BigGame Inc, acquired the e-Games site in Calumpit in the province of Bulacan, from Lucky Winner Bingo and Gaming Corp. In return, BigGame gave Lucky Winner some PhilWeb stock: 552,050 common shares worth PHP5.44 each.
PhilWeb has been rebuilding its parlour business. The group had been told in 2016 its operating licence would not be renewed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), the gaming regulator in the Philippines that is also an operator of land-based casinos and other betting outlets. At that time, PhilWeb controlled a network of 286 parlours where online casino games could be played.
Last December, PhilWeb said it had Pagcor’s approval to resume operations as an “electronic gaming system service provider”.
PhilWeb had reapplied for a licence after former controlling shareholder Roberto Ongpin resigned from the business.
Mr Ongpin is a former trade minister and was singled out by Philippines’President Rodrigo Duterte as a “monster”oligarch. Mr Duterte said Mr Ongpin held undue influence over previous Philippine presidents and used his influence to boost his businesses.
PhilWeb resumed its e-Games business with 16 outlets. It has since expanded the network beyond those venues and there are now more than 50 sites approved by Pagcor. The most recent site bought by PhilWeb in Calumpit is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) by road north of downtown Manila.
Earlier this week, PhilWeb reported second-quarter revenue of nearly PHP95.1 million, which was 144 percent more than its second-quarter a year earlier. Its first-half revenue for 2017 was nearly PHP172.6 million, 165 percent more than a year earlier.
The company told the Philippine Stock Exchange that the increase were due mainly to Pagcor giving it permission to resume offering electronic gaming systems.
PhilWeb made a second-quarter loss of PHP16.4 million, having made a loss of PHP68.9 million a year earlier. It reported a first-half 2017 loss of PHP45.3 million, having made a loss of PHP141.3 million a year earlier.
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"Our main focus is just making sure – and particularly within Australia – to the maximum extent possible, that we can have uniformity [among different jurisdictions]"
Chief executive of the Australia-based Gaming Technologies Association