Gaming | Philippines: Galaxy’s Boracay resort not completely off the table

A senior official at the Philippines gaming regulator has hinted at the possibility of a delayed casino resort eventually going ahead on the country’s scenic island of Boracay.
The $500-million project by Galaxy Entertainment Group and a local partner in the Philippines had received preliminary approval from the country’s regulator, before President Rodrigo Duterte intervened to express his dissatisfaction with the plan. It was reported that the president was worried about the impact on the environment of the island.
The archipelago country levied a six-month suspension of tourism on Boracay in 2018 in order to clean up the island. Additionally, the nation’s top government aimed for sustainable and family-oriented tourism on the island.
Now, a senior official from the gaming regulator has suggested that a casino might go ahead if the partners’ proposal undergoes changes.
Alfredo Lim, President and COO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), regulator of casinos in the Southeast Asian country, told online media outlet GGRAsia that he thought it was the belief of his country’s President that a casino is not good for Boracay.
Nonetheless, the regulator elaborated, “if [Galaxy Entertainment] can come up with certain measures that will convince the President, maybe there will be reconsiderations of the regional suspension of the [casino] licence [in Boracay].”
Lim also hinted that “conservation of the island’s environment” is part and parcel to working out the project.
Galaxy’s casino in Boracay would be unlike its Macau one. According to previous announcements, the Philippine casino would host fewer than 100 gambling tables. Up to $500 million was proposed as the investment amount. Galaxy would partner with Philippine firm Leisure and Resorts World Corp.
At a press conference last year, Galaxy Vice Chairman Francis Lui described the hurdles in the Boracay project as “misunderstanding” or “miscommunication”, while emphasizing his company’s alignment with President Duterte’s view of environmental protection for the island.
The casino executive said that further discussion was planned with the Philippine authorities.
Lim also suggested during his interview with GGRAsia that Galaxy communicate with his country’s Department of Natural Resources and Department of Tourism. After all, a lot of details are still unclear, Lim stressed. AL

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