The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) – the casino regulator in the country – has reportedly ordered the closure of the Casablanca Casino at Hotel Stotsenberg (pictured), a property in the Clark Freeport Zone on the Philippines’ main island, Luzon. The regulator’s order was issued on Friday, allegedly because the operator failed to meet escrow requirements, reported local media.
The operators of the Casablanca Casino “were not able to meet the escrow requirements, after several extension[s],” the head of Pagcor, Andrea Domingo, was quoted by local media as saying. The operation of the hotel has not been disrupted, according to the reports.
Australia-listed casino investor Frontier Capital Group Ltd last year decided to buy Stotsenberg Leisure and Hotel Corp – the holding firm for the Clark casino hotel – for a total consideration of US$26 million.
Frontier Capital had said it had a five-year profit guarantee of US$5 million per annum, provided by a company that would manage and operate the Clark property’s hotel and gaming business.
The Australia-based company had announced plans to expand the Casablanca Casino by raising the number of slot machines and increasing the number of gaming tables. According to a corporate website, the Casablanca Casino had currently 36 gaming tables and 190 slot machines.
Casablanca is the second casino at Clark Freeport Zone in fewer than three months that has been told to cease operations. Pagcor ordered in December the closure of the casino at the Fontana Hot Spring Leisure Parks at Clark, a gaming venue associated with Jack Lam Yin Lok, founder of Jimei Group and an investor in Macau VIP gambling operations. That followed an arrest order against Mr Lam, issued just a few days after 1,316 Chinese nationals were detained at premises linked to the Fontana casino.
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