The publicly listed company, Premium Leisure Corp, which owns half of the casino arm of the resort, has been taken over by the Manila-based SM Investments Corporation holding company.  The Sy Family controlled SM Group bought up a chunk of PLC’s shares on the open market through a special block sale.  The SM Group paid P1.20 ($0.25) per share and bought just under 270 million shares.

According to the chair of PLC, Willy Ocier, the seller of the block of shares in a transaction worth P323.71 million ($6.4 million), was a foreign entity.

This acquisition deal makes SM Group the controlling body in PLC. SM Group already owned 128.27 million shares in PLC.  The holding company is one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, owning over 200 stores across the nation.  Its interests also lie in shopping mall development, real estate, banking and tourism.

Premium Leisure Corp, also a holding company, owns a 34.5% stake in the publicly listed Pacific Online Systems Corporation which provides lottery software and equipment to the government-owned Charity Sweepstakes Officer which runs in the country.

PLC is a good match for SM’s brand in Asia, especially as co-owner of City of Dreams Manila. This resort offers visitors hotel accommodation, dining facilities and a casino floor that boasts a huge range of table and electronic games. PLC shares ownership of the City of Dreams with .

The casino resort, which opened up in 2014, has seen a big increase in gaming revenue of late, culminating in a surge in the last three months of 2016.  This is due in part to the increased number of tourists visiting the Philippines in recent years. As a result, City of Dreams saw net revenue increase by nearly 80% in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

Melco also revealed that Casino of Dreams’ win rate climbed 3.5% year on year in the fourth quarter, while mass market table bets climbed to $149 million (compared to $106.3 million) year on year.

The sum total played through electronic gaming devices on the resort’s casino floor surged to $671.3 million (up from $420.9 million in the same period one year before).