In the Philippines and the operator behind the Widus Hotel and Casino has reportedly announced that the property has been granted a ‘regular gaming license’ by the nation’s Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator.
According to a Thursday report from GGRAsia, Widus Philippines Incorporated revealed that the 873-room facility in the Clark Freeport Zone had received the certification following PAGCor’s July 8 board meeting and is now the only such venue located in the former United States Air Force base to hold a full gaming license.
A subsidiary of South Korean firm, Widus International Leisure Incorporated, the operator also detailed that the award came after it was able to prove that it had surpassed a state-mandated minimum investment threshold of approximately $86.75 million within four years of having received its provisional gaming license in December of 2014.
Neki Liwanag, Corporate Planning and Compliance Assistant Vice-President for Widus Philippines Incorporated, told GGRAsia that her firm had devoted almost $196.15 million into the Widus Hotel and Casino and was now looking forward to premiering a fourth hotel tower complete with a new casino ‘by the last quarter of 2020.’
“Widus Hotel and Casino was granted its regular gaming license recently; a first in the Clark Freeport Zone. Being able to get the regular gaming license a few months ahead of the required timeline and [supported by] more than the required investment shows our commitment to the industry and our belief in the success of the gaming industry in the Clark Freeport Zone and in the Philippines. This is also the reason why we are already expanding with the construction of a fourth hotel tower while expanding the existing casino and other related facilities.”
Widus Philippines Inc. secured a syndicated loan worth nearly $134.91 million in May to help it bring the new 19-story hotel tower to the Widus Hotel and Casino. This new-build facility is to purportedly feature some 380 rooms in addition to shops and restaurants while an included casino will offer around 1,000 slots alongside a selection of about 200 gaming tables.
The Widus Hotel and Casino reportedly premiered its first hotel tower in 2008 before adding a second some four years later. It then purportedly went on to debut the 260-room Clark Marriot in September complete with an attached casino featuring an array of 342 slots as well as 54 gaming tables.