Internet gambling is proving to be a profitable business activity for the publicly-listed Philippines online gambling operator PhilWeb Corporation, which last week announced consolidated net income up by an impressive 29 percent through 2008.

In a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm revealed that its net income for last year was $6.11 million against $4.74 million in 2007, with core earnings up 90 percent to $4.88 million from $2.57 million.

"The key driver of core net income continues to be our Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) electronic games cafes," Dennis Valdes, President for PhilWeb reported, adding that the company's profits included gains from PhilWeb investments in ISM Communications Corporation, which owns 77.7 percent of Eastern Telecommunications Corportaion.

Valdes revealed that the company had opened 45 new gaming cafes in the Philippines last year, bringing the total to 121, and had aggressively expanded its games portfolio to include Basketball Jackpot, Premyo Sa Resibo and Txtingo Super Singko. This saw the firm's total revenues increase 71 percent year-on-year to reach a record $9.75 million while it reported a cash balance of over $14.79 million.

"We will use these funds to aggressively invest in new games of chance and other opportunities that come our way in 2009," Valdes told shareholders. "The past year has turned out to be a record year for PhilWeb, wherein we recorded our highest ever levels of revenue and net income, so we are quite optimistic that this trend will accelerate in 2009."

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