Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, the director of Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC), confirmed that they are re-establishing discussions about constructing a casino resort on Boracay Island with the Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
Previously, Galaxy Entertainment and its local partner LRWC made an announcement regarding the construction of a $500-million casino resort on the Island in 2017.
An estimated 23 hectares in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan were managed to be obtained by a branch of LRWC.
But, their plans were canceled in 2019 because of Duterte's order to halt the operations of casinos and due to his plan to temporarily close and clean up the Island for six months.
Before Duterte's order in 2018 to stop the entry of new casinos into the country, both Galaxy and Megaworld acquired gaming licenses from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
However, last week, Duterte changed his mind and said he'll permit the operations of casinos in Boracay to make up for the government's lack of funds.
Meanwhile, the construction of integrated casino-resort projects in Boracay Island by the Galaxy Entertainment and Megaworld Corp. was given the go-signal by Duterte to proceed with their plans, as confirmed by PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo.
In response to the question asked by GMA News Online, Benitez, founder OF LRWC, answered "yes," pertaining that they are "reviving" its partnership with Galaxy Entertainment. However, he didn't give out any more details.
"Casino operation in Boracay shall follow restrictions such as the observance of safety and health protocols imposed in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring safeguards to keep children or minors away from gambling activities," Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday, according to the reports of GMA News Online.
"This latest presidential pronouncement is part of the revenue-generating efforts of the government to augment funds for COVID-19 response," he added.
(Source: Ted Cordero, GMA News)