It took a few years, but Frontier Capital Group Ltd. has finally found the money to be able to reopen the Casablanca Casino in the Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines. Almost three years after having acquired the property, it is anxious to get things moving and announced that it could launch Casablanca at any time.
Frontier acquired the property in 2016, spending $26 million to seal the deal. However, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), the country’s gaming regulator, shut off the lights on the plan after demanding that Frontier make good on a an outstanding escrow account. That account was worth around $3.4 million at the time.
In a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Monday, Frontier stated, “The company has secured the funds necessary to satisfy the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp requirements to reinstate operations of the Casablanca Casino, which is imminent.” The company’s chairman, Henri Ho, added that Frontier had “worked diligently to satisfy Pagcor’s operational requirements” and that the firm would “soon recommence operations at the Casablanca Casino, with a healthy bank balance.”
The funds came from another deal that went south for Frontier. The company announced in the filing that a balance of $1.06 million that it issued for a stake in the Mongolian National Lottery had been returned. That reimbursement came following the completion of previous negotiations on the subject and follows an announcement by Frontier from last month that it would not be able to meet certain conditions related to the transaction with the lottery in the allotted timeframes. It added, “The Agreement provided that the Conditions Precedent could not be waived, and the Company and the Vendor agreed that the Agreement be terminated.”
Frontier originally purchased the Stotsenberg Hotel and Casablanca Casino in 2015. It was finalized less than a year later but ran into trouble when PAGCOR shut down the casino after the company routinely stalled on the required escrow account. The hotel has been able to continue operations, but the loss of the casino left its impact, as 200 employees were suddenly left looking for new positions elsewhere in the city.