The construction of integrated casino-resort projects in Boracay Island by the Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group and tycoon Andrew Tan was given the thumbs up by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine Amusement, and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) confirmed this Tuesday.
President, PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo, said in response to the question asked by GMA News Online that the President gave "both" plans of the Galaxy Entertainment and Tan's Megaworld the go-signal.
She didn't elaborate further on which of their plans were approved.
On Saturday, Duturte already approved for casinos to operate in Boracay, Malacañang said.
Before the Palace's announcement, to make up for the government's lack of funds, Duterte changed his mind regarding the operation of casinos in Boracay, saying that opening a gambling house is now necessary.
Domingo was questioned whether both casino projects have already obtained gaming licenses from PAGCOR; she said, "Prior to the ban imposed for Boracay, yes."
Back in February 2018, to curb an oversupply of casinos in the Philippines, the President ordered to cease the entry and creation of new casinos.
Establishments of casinos in Boracay were also banned by Duterte as he continued with his plan to clean up the island for six months.
Before Duterte's order, Galaxy Entertainment and Megaworld have already obtained provisional licenses for gaming operations from PAGCOR for its casino in its Savoy Hotel brand in Boracay.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and its local partner Leisure and Resorts World Corp. made an announcement back in 2017 about their plan to construct a $500-million casino resort in Boracay island.
However, because of the casino ban, Leisure and Resorts World discontinued the plans with Galaxy Entertainment.
When Galaxy Entertainment and Leisure and Resorts World were asked for a comment about the President's changed of mind, they didn't give out a response.
Meanwhile, in an official statement, Tan said, "We will proceed with our casino project in Boracay Newcoast. We already have several hotels there and we are still building more."
"There is also a golf course, the only one in the entire Boracay Island. We are very hopeful that the tourism industry in this island will recover fast after the pandemic," he added.
(Source: By TED CORDERO, GMA News)