We have reported before on South Korean ambitions to expand their casino business across the boundaries of their own country. Widus International Leisure Inc. is now pushing with a decisive move to open doors in the Philippines where the market seems ripe for new casino overtures.
Widus Makes the Decisive Step
The South Korean company is now pushing ahead with its new property, the Clark Marriott in Clark Freeport in the Philippines this upcoming week, a report by GGRAsia has revealed.
According to Widus, The Clark Marriott, the property in question, will not come with a casino that is an immediate part of the hotel, but it will be connected to the already operating Widus Hotel and Casino, bringing all as part of the existing integrated resort.
Meanwhile, the new property will offer impeccable luxury to guests of all stripes. Soaring on 15 stories, the property will be able to accommodate visitors across 260 rooms. Taking a look at the casino, it comes with a respectable number of gaming options and a rich library. Overall, 54 tables will be available along with 342 classic and innovative slot machines. The whole property sprawls on the impressive 48,437 sq ft.
Widus is of course cognizant of the competitors. The resort comes along with two already built properties although Widus has said that it is planning a $500-million push across the area to consolidate its own presence. Now that the Marriott is nearly completed, Widus is fixating its eye and ambitions on a fourth tower that will be completed by 2020.
As any good investor would have it, Widus is also planning to create various opportunities for its guests, meaning a golf court and other amenities will also be readily available to the hotel & casino’s guests.
Widus started off with a Clark hotel tower back in 2008 and it complemented it with a casino a year after. With these investments and the current numbers, Widus is on its way to completing a $1 billion investment over a period of a decade, making it one of the more expensive operations the South Korean company has undertaken in its history.
Complying with the Law
Widus of course has to jump through some regulatory hoops to make the cut. Compliance with the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering laws is paramount as the country has been known as a hotbed for dirty money and proxy gambling to launder the ill-gained proceedings.
As a result, the country has pushed up its vetting standards, ensuring that no foul practices are afoot. Of course, this has made it slightly more challenging for casino companies seeking hotel & gaming venue investment to push on, but it also guarantees that the entities that end up making the cut will in fact be reliable and respected firms.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State has noted that the Philippines has a severe problem with proxy gambling where individuals would bring money to a casino and launder them. The breaches in the laws have prompted the country to join China in a bid to clamp down on the practice