Casino investor Widus International Leisure Inc. (WILI) is considering listing its company with the Philippines Stock Exchange as part of its efforts to expand its business in the Southeast Asian archipelago.
WILI President and CEO Han Daesik considered seeking fresh funds for its expansion project through an initial public offering (IPO) but decided to wait for the market to recover, according to the GGRAsia report.
Daesik noted that the current government had fast-tracked 15 big-ticket infrastructure projects, including the PHP285 billion (US$5.3 billion) North-South Commuter Railway, the PHP211.46 billion ($3.96 billion) Malolos-Clark Railway, and the PHP134 billion ($2.51 billion) Philippine National Railway South Commuter Line.
Pending the completion of these infrastructure projects, Daesik said the company has “decided to postpone [the IPO] a little bit.” He estimated the IPO may happen after the completion of phase two of its current expansion programs.
Widus has been in the Philippines for 12 years now, operating a 48,437-square-foot casino with 54 gaming tables and 342 slots. However, the Clark-based casino resort remains under the radar of most international players and is overshadowed by big integrated resorts like Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila, Resorts World Manila, and Okada Manila.
Initially, Daesik admitted feeling a bit of concerned when Solaire opened in Entertainment City five years ago, especially upon hearing that operations of other Manila-based casinos had been affected. His fears subsided when he saw the Widus casino’s gross gaming revenue increase following Solaire’s opening.
The difference between Widus players and Entertainment City’s is that serious gamblers play in Manila while foreign leisure players go to Clark, according to Daesik.
“Here in Clark there are several golf courses: it’s very convenient. From the airport to the casino, it takes maybe 10 minutes; from the hotel to a golf course maybe 10 to 15 minutes; and for other entertainment outside, such a bars, it will take only 10 to 15 minutes,” the WILI executive said, according to the news outlet.