Philippines

The Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has disclosed that Jack Lam owes the regulator around P13.9 billion (US$278.3 million).

First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation says it is looking to make substantial upgrades to its technical infrastructure in order to be more competitive against Pagcor’s new online gaming licenses.

Genting HK-owned Star Cruises has announced its first-ever homeport deployment of SuperStar Virgo to Manila, a move that the company says caters to the growing Philippines outbound tourism industry.

Philippines-listed Travellers International Hotel Group, operators of Resorts World Manila, says it had disbursed the last of the proceeds from its 2013 IPO in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced it will be cracking down on illegal online casinos, as well as chase tax liabilities of small town lottery (STL) operations.

The Philippine Stock Exchange has finally approved the sale of the 653.1 million Philweb shares belonging to founder Roberto Ongpin to Gregorio Araneta III.

For 2017 the Macau market will continue to stabilize and grow, but the operators will have to work harder to get the players to come back. The future looks good with regards to the general mass player but the VIP’s will be careful in how, where and what they play.

I think the Philippines remains an intriguing story in 2017. President Duterte’s call to PAGCOR to privatize its casinos was a wise decision, although that decision was driven more by the President’s sense of morality rather than a purely business decision.

In 2017 I think we will continue to see the larger players in Macau flex their muscles internationally looking for ROIC no longer available in Macau.

Junket mogul Jack Lam is yet to show his face in the Philippines after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his arrest last December.

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