After a June soft launch, New South Wales-headquartered casino investor, Frontier Capital Group Ltd (ASX:FCG), reportedly said that on Sunday, July 28, 2019, it will resume gaming operations at its recently rebranded casino resort located inside the Hotel Stotsenberg at the Clark Freeport Zone, in the Philippines.

Operations at the former Casablanca Casino had been suspended by the Southeast Asia country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), after issuing the order for closure on February 3, 2017, for allegedly failing to meet escrow requirements.

Compliance verified:

In a Tuesday filing, Frontier said that Pagcor “inspectors” were in attendance at the soft opening for the FortuneGate Casino and “verified” the casino’s “compliance,” according to GGRAsia.

After announcing its decision in November 2015 and winning approval from its shareholders in January 2016 for the US$26-million acquisition of Stotsenberg Leisure and Hotel Corp, the holding firm for the Hotel Stotsenberg and the casino inside, the Australia-listed Frontier Capital has since February 2016 controlled the property.

Escrow requirement:

At the time the regulator’s order for closure was issued, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Pagcor, Andrea Domingo, was quoted by local media as saying, “were not able to meet the escrow requirements, after several extension[s],” as reported by GGRAsia.

According to the news agency, the Philippine casino regulator had required that Frontier Capital settle an escrow account amounting to PHP225 million (US$4.39 million at current exchange rates). The firm reportedly said in an April filing that it was in “full compliance” with the requirements for recommencing casino operations.

Meanwhile, Frontier Capital’s chairman, Henri Ho, was quoted in Tuesday’s filing, as saying…

“The company is pleased to have passed all hurdles and reinstating operations of the casino at our Stotsenberg Hotel. We look forward to our official launch on 28 July and to working with FortuneGate, who have a well-established track record in profitable casino operations.”

FortuneGate Casino: 

According to a June 2019 report from IAG, the mass market-focused casino will include 134 slots machines, 28 gaming tables along with a money wheel, VIP rooms, an entertainment space, a bar and some other non-gaming facilities, as told to local media by the venue’s General Manager Eduardo Dacanay.

However, in the July 24, 2019 report from GGRAsia, according to the latest filing, the details regarding the number of electronic gaming machines and gaming tables was not disclosed by Frontier Capital, nor were the specifics of the management contract.

Additionally, Frontier reportedly said that FortuneGate Holdings has “strong support in VIP markets, with a focus on the Philippine market” and added, “The Casablanca Casino has been rebranded ‘FortuneGate Casino’ to capitalise on FortuneGate Holdings’ southeast Asian market presence.”