BUSINESS

Forbes Asia shows gaming influence in Philippines; Defendant in PAGCOR scam case reportedly dead

TAGs: Pacific Gaming, PAGCOR, Philippines, PhilWeb

PagcorForbes Asia’s ranking of the Asia Pacific’s regions top 200 smaller public companies has shown how influential online gaming industry companies have become in the Philippines. The list, which ranks the top companies that achieved revenues between $5million and $1billion, saw Pacific Online and PhilWeb included as the only two from one of the hubs of the online gambling industry worldwide.

Pacific Online is the system provider for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and as an affiliate of Belle Corp is headed by businessman Willy N. Ocier. Over the past 12 months, the firm posted $29m in sales and $10m in net income with a market value standing at $91m.

PhilWeb, a firm that operates internet cafes that allow gambling, saw sales of $24m with $16m in net income and a market value standing at $453m. The firm serves over 60,000 per day at its network of cafes, sports betting kiosks and mobile sites. It has meant the firm’s generated P260 in gross bets over the past five years since it entered the gaming industry. The company looks like it will be growing ever further after it was recently awarded a mobile gaming contract to operate in East Timor.

China and Hong Kong contributed 65 firms to the list and it continues to show how much of a force the countries are in the region. This translates to the gaming industry and again goes to show why this growing economy has made Macau the largest casino location on the planet.

Staying in the Philippines, it’s being reported that a businessman accused of a casino scam has been found dead in China. Loo Choon Beng, or “Fatty Loo” as he was known, was found in his hotel room bed on August 3rd or 4th according to The Straits Times. There is no suggestion that his death involved any foul play and a friend told the paper that he likely died in his sleep or from one of a myriad of health problems that he suffered.

The swindle, which affected PAGCOR, involved fraudulently obtaining 160m pesos from three of the government run casinos back in May. The case took another turn today after it was revealed that PAGCOR officials are to be summoned by the court on accusations that they helped members of the alleged syndicate escape the country. A body has also been set up to investigate the reports of Beng’s demise so that the investigation can continue to proceed.

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