Wed, Apr 07, 2004 - Page 16 News List

Ho eyes another piece of the action

Mogul Stanley Ho, who lost his 40-year-old gambling monopoly in Macau two years ago, is looking for business in the Philippines

DPA , MANILA

Archbishop Cruz said Ho's recent visit also affirmed his renewed ties with the government-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the only institution allowed to operate casinos in the country.

Cruz said his reliable sources have confirmed that PAGCOR "is indeed a conduit of a good amount of money from the said gambling tycoon in form of investments."

"Mr. Ho is back in the Philippines through his investments in PAGCOR," he said. "You wouldn't see his name in any of these new casino operations, but he is there."

Cruz, who also received an honorary doctorate degree from the same university which honored Ho, returned the award to highlight his opposition to the tycoon's attempts to build a gambling empire in the Philippines.

"If Mr. Ho is determined to play big in the country, we are just as determined, if not more determined, to keep him out," he said.

"Gambling is a scam. It gives false hopes to poor Filipinos, and must be stopped."

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