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PhilWeb buys 2 e-Games sites in Cebu

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PHILWEB Corp. has acquired two gaming sites licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) in Cebu City.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, PhilWeb said its unit BigGame, Inc. purchased the PAGCOR e-Games sites in Consolacion and Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu from Golden Frontier Gaming, Inc. (GFGI).

In exchange for the e-Games sites, PhilWeb gave GFGI 394,322 shares priced at P5.12 each or around P2.02 million, in addition to P2.5 million in cash.

The acquisition brings PhilWeb’s total e-Games sites to 52.

PhilWeb had been operating 286 e-gaming sites across the currently until August 2016, when its license expired. Then newly elected President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s criticisms against online gaming and PhilWeb’s then-Chairman Roberto V. Ongpin put a halt on the company’s operations.

Mr. Ongpin then chose to divest his stake in PhilWeb worth P2 billion, in favor of its current chairman Gregorio Ma. “Greggy” Araneta III in October 2017.

It was only last December 2017 when PhilWeb finally secured clearance from PAGCOR to resume its operations as an electronic gaming system service provider.

PhilWeb saw its revenues surge by 236.7% to P87.8 million during the first quarter of 2018, after securing clearance from PAGCOR to fully resume operations. The company has also managed to trim losses to P28.9 million, from the P72.3 million seen in the same period the year before.

The company earlier said that it hopes to return to profitability by venturing into other gaming business and by regaining the e-gaming outlets it had lost.

Last April, PhilWeb said it is venturing into electronic bingo (e-Bingo), with plans to acquire two e-Bingo sites.

“It is also a service provider to Instant Massive Bingo’s e-Bingo operations in Saipan by providing the latter with technology and support services,” PhilWeb said.

Shares in PhilWeb slipped by 12 centavos or 2.27% to close at P5.16 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday. — Arra B. Francia