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LRWC beefing up casino business with Pagcor deal

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 17, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Hotel and recreation firm Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) is beefing up its casino business by luring more foreign gamers.

In a regulatory filing, LRWC said its its wholly-owned subsidiary, Prime Investment Korea Inc. (PIKI), and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) have executed a supplement junket agreement.

This allows LRWC and Pagcor to enhance the existing junket gaming operations in Casino Filipino located at Midas Hotel and Casino along Roxas Blvd.

Late in July, LRWC secured Pagcor’s approval to operate junket operations in Midas Hotel and Casino, targeting Asian high-rollers, particularly Chinese mainlanders.

“The supplementary services will allow Pagcor and PIKI to tap into foreign gaming markets in order to attract foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines,” LRWC said.

The agreement includes the provision to operate gaming tables equipped with high-definition video cameras, voice over Internet protocol facilities, and other Internet data facilities.

It will allow PIKI “to broadcast Pagcor-approved table gaming activities from within the gaming rooms to Pagcor-approved locations outside the Casino Filipino-Midas,” LRWC said.

The hotel and recreation firm is ramping up its bingo and hotel gaming facilities.

It has budgeted P500 million to build an annex for Midas Hotel and Casino. In November, LRWC secured a 50-percent stake in the hotel.

The listed company is also on the lookout for more hotels with gaming facilities while beefing up its electronic gaming portfolio and bingo sites.

In July, LRWC secured shareholders’ approval to issue P250 million worth of Series 2 preferred shares, which will bankroll construction and capital expenditures of Midas Hotel and Casino and Techzone office building in Makati.

LRWC is also one of the companies behind the $1.3-billion Belle Grande Manila integrated casino complex in ParaƱaque.

LRWC’s subsidiary, AB Leisure Global Inc., is entitled to 30 percent of the fixed yearly income generated from the lease of all commercial spaces in Belle Grande Manila. It will also earn from casino operations.

Belle Grande Manila, which will start operations in the second half next year, will be the second casino complex to open in Pagcor Entertainment City, the area groomed to become the Philippines’ version of the Las Vegas strip.

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