Widus’ Clark Marriott to open in the Philippines

TAGs: Clark Marriott, Philippines, Widus International Leisure

South Korea-based Widus International Leisure Inc. will be opening a new hotel, the Clark Marriott, in Clark Freeport in the Philippines next week, according to a GGRAsia report.

Widus’ Clark Marriott to open next weekA Widus representative said, “The Clark Marriott does not have a casino directly attached to it, but it is connected to the existing Widus Hotel and Casino as part of the integrated resort.”

The new 15-storey hotel will have 260 rooms for guests. The existing casino has 54 gaming tables and 342 slots, with an area of 48,437 square feet. Currently, there are two hotels in the resort. Last June, Widus mentioned that it was in the process of a $500-million expansion. After the Clark Marriott, a fourth tower is to be finished by 2020. In addition, according to GGRAsia, Widus may have a golf course built in the resort, with talks underway with Philippine agency the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

All in all, beginning with Widus’ first Clark hotel tower in 2008 and casino in 2009, the company will have invested a total of over $1 billion in the resort, once the current expansion is completed.

Widus was among five casino operators that recently registered with the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council, as part of the agency’s new requirements, which include the filing of reports for transactions above $100,000, and the keeping of records of gambling activity for at least five years. The new policies were in response to a U.S. Department of State report that singled out the Philippines as a place where proxy gambling—that is, the placing of bets for someone not physically present in the casino—was practiced, which is a hindrance to anti-money laundering compliance.

Widus is reportedly interested in being listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, but this will likely be done after the current expansion program. An IPO “is still in the pipeline,” said the company representative, as the company is “still studying the feasibility of the market.”


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