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Archive for September 11th, 2018

Melco to Delist from Philippine Stock Exchange due to Failure to Raise Funds for Casino Expansion

Melco (Philippines) Investments Limited, operator of City of Dreams Manila, today revealed plans to delist from the Philippine Stock Exchange, citing the inability to raise funds for planned expansion of the Manila-based integrated resort as the main reason for its decision.

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based gaming and hospitality giant Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which is in turn owned by international conglomerate Melco International Development. In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange from today, Melco said that its delisting from the Philippines would involve a voluntary tender offer for more than 1.5 billion outstanding common shares of Melco Resort & Entertainment (Philippines) Corp.

The company further explained that it had originally decided to list on the Philippine Stock Exchange to raise funds for expansion of its Philippine operation and other business plans. However, it failed to raise the expected funds which spurred the decision to delist.

Today’s filing further read that the move would allow Melco and its subsidiary Melco (Philippines) Investments to “better support” the City of Dreams Manila property in its future business plans.

The planned voluntary tender offer accounts for around 27.23% of the issued outstanding common shares of Melco Resorts Philippines. The shares will be offered at a prize of PHP7.25 per share. The company’s Board of Directors has given the green light to the delisting, it was also announced in today’s filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

A petition for a voluntary delisting is expected to be submitted on or about September 17.

Potential for Growth in the Philippines

As mentioned above, Melco, through its local subsidiaries, operates the City of Dreams Manila integrated resort in the Philippines. The property opened doors late in 2014. In its half-year report, Melco said that the Philippine market “has continued to deliver healthy and stable growth along with robust financial performance”.

The company went on to say that it expected the growth trend to continue due to the “fast-growing trajectory of Southeast Asian tourism” and the “continued upgrades in the Philippine transportation infrastructure”, among other things. Melco anticipates these to boost overnight visits from ASEAN countries to its Manila casino resort.

Aside from its domestic market – Macau – and the Philippines, Melco also plans to expand across new markets. In Asia, it is eyeing one of the three gaming licenses the Japanese government is planning to issue as part of its casino gambling legalization effort.

Melco is also venturing into Europe. In an industry-first, the gaming and hospitality giant is building a €550-million integrated resort in the Republic of Cyprus, the first property of this kind and scale not just on the tiny Mediterranean island, but also in Europe as a whole. The property is currently under development in the city of Limassol and is slated to open doors in 2021. Melco launched a temporary casino earlier this summer to serve customers, while the main resort is being built.

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Jimmy Livramento Takes Down WPTDeepStacks Portugal Main Event

Jimmy Livramento emerged victorious in the latest WPTDeepStacks Main Event. The player took down a field of 224 entries at Casino Vilamoura in Southern Portugal’s Algarve region for a first-place prize of €50,000, the tournament trophy, and a package into the season ending WPTDeepStacks championship event worth €2,500.

The WPTDeepStacks Portugal was played over four days that featured three starting flights and two more days of play. As mentioned above, as many as 224 contenders entered the tournament for a shot at the first-place prize and the title. The €1,110 buy-in event featured a guaranteed prize pool of €200,000, but that guarantee was surpassed eventually and a prize pool of €217,280 was generated.

Day 3, the Main Event’s final one, saw nine players return at the host venue to play down to a champ. It was namely Livramento who led his fellow players into the final table. The player had a stack of 1.45 million at the time and was 200,000 chips ahead of his nearest competitor. Cesário Gomes was that nearest competitor, and defending champion Francisco Lopes held the third-largest stack at the time cards were thrown in the air for the Main Event’s final stage.

Highlights from Day 3

Eyes were set on Lopes at the start of Day 3. The player won the WPTDeepStacks Portugal at Casino Vilamoura last year and was now aiming for a back-to-back win to make history at the gambling venue. It should be noted that his back-to-back final table in the event was too a big accomplishment.

Despite his good start of the day, Lopes could not make it through the end and pose for a picture with the trophy. The player was eventually eliminated in fifth place for €13,367.

As for Livramento, he entered the final table as the chip leader and maintained his lead throughout that closing stage of the tournament. The player eventually faced Henrique Couto heads-up. Couto managed to claim the chip lead for a short while at the beginning of the two-handed match, but Livramento quickly regained control.

Heads-up action lasted for nearly two hours, during which Livramento put great pressure on his final opponent to weaken him gradually. On what turned out to be the final hand in play, Livramento limped on the button to see Couto check. The [10c][3d][5d] arrived on the flop. Couto checked and then called a 100,000 bet. The turn came down [6s]. Couto checked and Livramento bet 175,000. Couto then shoved for around 1 million and Livramento called.

Couto turned over [6d][4h] and his opponent showed [Qc][10d] for a top pair. A blank [9d] was of no help to Couto and the player hit the rail in second place, good for €32,000 in prize money.

Final table results:

Jimmy Livramento – €50,000
Henrique Couto – €32,000
Hugo Cesario Gomes Andrade – €24,000
Pier D’Ancona – €17,800
Francisco Lopes – €13,367
Andre Cuco – €10,209
Artur Coelho – €7,891
Tiago Branco – €6,185
Jorge Oliveira – €4,918

The WPTDeepStacks is next heading to Marrakech where a Main Event is scheduled to take place on September 27-30.

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Casino Tycoon Kazuo Okada Sues His Own Company, Wants Reinstatement to Board

Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada has filed a lawsuit against Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., which he founded in the 2000s, and is asking a Philippine court to intervene and reinstate hims as a shareholder, director, chairman, and CEO of the company. Tiger Resort, through a subsidiary, operates the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital.

Mr. Okada’s lawyer, Rean Balisi, told media that the lawsuit was filed last Wednesday in the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court. It seeks to void the casino mogul’s ouster from Tiger Resort, which he said was illegal, and to allow his return on his previous posts.

The Japanese businessman was ousted as director of Okada Holdings, the parent company of gaming machine manufacturer Universal Entertainment Corp., in May 2017 over allegations of misappropriation of funds. Universal Entertainment is the owner of Tiger Resort. Mr. Okada’s ouster from Okada Holdings later on led to his removal from the board of Tiger Resort.

The businessman also said in court papers that he has received information about plans for a public offering of his company and that he his advice on the matter had not been sought.

Okada Vows to Regain Control over His Companies

The Japanese tycoon, who started his gaming machine manufacturing business back in the 1960s, said last month that he would reclaim his company which was taken from him in an unlawful manner and that he believed justice would prevail.

Mr. Okada said that he was the victim of a carefully planned coup that aimed to mar his reputation and remove him from his posts at the company. He went on to say that the people behind that coup later on manipulated his children to further benefit from their scheme.

The businessman revealed that he had reached out to his son, Tomohiro, asking him to serve the interest of his family and his business rather than of unscrupulous people who would do anything to reap financial and other benefits from the situation.

The Japanese tycoon is facing multiple legal challenges in relation to his alleged misappropriation of millions of dollars. Earlier this year, the City Prosecutor’s Offices of Parañaque and Makati dismissed cases of fraud and perjury against Mr. Okada for lack of probable cause. However, the cases are now to be reviewed in the Philippine Department of Justice as Tiger Resort has submitted a motion for reconsideration of the cases.

The DOJ took over the cases after the leakage of an important resolution from the Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office. The resolution was posted on social media by a woman who was believed to be Mr. Okada’s partner.

Reports emerged last month that the businessman was arrested in Hong Kong on fraud charges. Those reports were later on dismissed by Mr. Okada’s lawyer as fake news.

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