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PhilWeb to speed up rollout of more gaming terminals

Listed internet gaming firm PhilWeb Corp. is accelerating the rollout of its gaming terminals as it launches new games to attract more bettors.

In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, PhilWeb said it expects to end the year with a total of 200 e-Games cafes, which continue to be the firm’s main driver of growth compared with only 76 at end-December 2007.

As of March this year, PhilWeb had  opened another 15 cafés, bringing the network up to 91 cafés.

To speed up the rollout, PhilWeb designed a modular Pagcor e-Games café (MPEG) , which will be built into a jumbo-shipping container fully equipped with computers, fixtures, furniture and appliances. 

Costing about P1.5 million, the MPEG is a turnkey solution that can be shipped.

Gross bets at the Pagcor e-Games cafes grew 65 percent to P28.6 billion.  Revenues hit P196.5 million, up 93 percent from the P102 million in 2006.

The company will relaunch its mobile game TXTINGO which will feature a simplified procedure wherein the players will just have to choose  five numbers instead of nine. The product’s system had to be reengineered after hackers attempted to beat the system several weeks after it was launched in September 2007.

As part of the firm’s expansion effort to further grow the user base of its  ISBS business, PhilWeb will soon launch a ‘text-based versIon of this game to  tap a potential 30 million owners of cellular phones who are predisposed to  place bets on their favorite basketball, game using their load.  BJMobile is estimated to bring in  about 57 percent  more revenues to the ISB business.

PhilWeb is also targeting to launch TVSabong in the fourth quarter of the year.   TVSabong is an Internet Sports Betting event where the game results are based on the set of outcomes of cockfighting matches in a featured derby of the day.

The company reported a 92 percent jump in its net income last year to P222.8 million from P116 million.  Revenues doubled to P266.9 million from P132.9 million driven by strong financial results of its core gaming operations. Operating income increased five-fold or by almost P 100 million from P23.1 million in 2006 to P 121.2 million in 2007.

 “With our strong liquidity position, which exceeds P500 million as of today, we are well positioned for an even more aggressive expansion of our gaming network for 2008,” said PhilWeb president Dennis Valdes.

We fully expect the strong results of 2007 to be continued in 2008.  In March, for instance, we set a record of P3.5 billion in gross bets, reflecting a 70 percent  growth rate. Then on April 25, we set another record, with P4.7 million in casino win for that day alone. In comparison, the average casino win was P2.2 million per day in 2007,” Valdes added.

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