• LRWC eyes hotels, casino devts

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    Listed gaming firm Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) is on the lookout for more existing hotels and casino establishments to add to its portfolio.

    “We are always on the lookout for opportunities especially in the gaming area. We think the gaming industry is a growth industry in the Philippines,” said Reynaldo Bantug, LRWC chairman and president, after the company’s annual stockholders meeting on Friday night.

    Bantug even specified that the company is always keen on looking for more acquisition opportunities, especially for hotels where gaming facilities operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) are located.

    LRWC purchased significant interest in hotel and casino development Midas Hotel in Pasay in November 2012.

    “[LRWC is willing to do more deals like what it did in Midas Hotel] if the previous hotel owner would want to sell out for instance,” Bantug said.

    “Our core business is in gaming. That’s our expertise. But nowadays, you package gaming plus amenities. You approximate the integrated resort, on a smaller scale that’s what we have here in Midas,” he added.

    Bantug also told reporters in an interview that the company may see a stronger financial performance in the second half of this year.

    “Normally second half is stronger,” he said referring to its profit guidance for the whole year.

    Freddie Reyes, LRWC investor relations officer, also said that by the middle of this year, a greater percentage of the firm’s income will come from its electronic bingo facility.

    “With respect to the bingo, income is being driven by electronic bingo machines, so we are aggressively trying to roll out more in boutiques and existing sites,” he said.

    LRWC is also part of the more than $1-billion Belle Grande project that will rise in front of Pagcor Entertainment City. The project is a joint venture between Belle Corp. and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. LRWC is supposed to get a share of Belle’s economic interest in Belle Grande project.

    “Once the casino enters, it will eat up a lot of the percentage [in LRWC’s income], balance will tilt towards the gaming portion,” Bantug said.

    “Significant impact on the LRWC bottomline will be felt latter part of 2014 and 2015,” he added.

    Belle Grande is expected to open third or fourth quarter of this year.

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