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Philweb expanding abroad

MANILA, Philippines—Listed gaming firm Philweb Corp. expects to start operations on its planned Internet casinos abroad, helping lift company profits to new record highs in 2011, officials said.

Philweb president Dennis Valdes said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday that the Philippines’ economic momentum should also allow its local operations to continue growing.

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“The Philippine economy is doing very well. There’s a lot less corruption and that is good for business. Almost all businesses in the country are growing today,” Valdes said at the sidelines of the meeting.

Last year, Philweb posted a net income of P709 million, up 27 percent year on year. Revenues also breached the P1-billion mark to hit P1.04 billion—a first in the company’s history.

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This year, Valdes said the company was seen posting a similar growth rate as its domestic business expands and its international businesses start to kick in.

“We are very hopeful that by the third or fourth quarter, our overseas business can start contributing to revenues,” he said.

He said “border casinos” in Laos would be the first to be put up as soon as Philweb gets a gaming license. He said Philweb, which is partly owned by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., has been working on gaining its gaming license for the past 12 months.

“The fruits of our efforts will be very visible in 2011 and in succeeding years,” Valdes said.

Valdes said the company plans to put up the Internet casinos—similar to the firm’s Pagcor [Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.] E-Games, or PEGS, casinos in the Philippines—along the Laos-Thailand border.

These would target the Thailand market where gambling is illegal, Valdes said. He said similar casinos would be built along Laos’ border with China. Casinos will also be built in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The effect on earnings is expected to be modest in the first months of its overseas business. “But in the next three to five years, our overseas business should be as big or even bigger than our domestic business,” Valdes said.

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TAGS: border casinos, casinos, Gaming, Internet casinos, Laos, Philweb
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