Macau (MNA) – The Philippines decided to suspend a US$500 million project by Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) to develop a casino-resort in the island of Boracay, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
“There will be no new casino in Boracay,” said the presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, in a press conference in Hong Kong that was aired live in Manila, according to Reuters.
The local casino operator has partnered with Philippines-based Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) to develop casino resort and has been granted a provisional license for developing the project last month, with the Philippines Gaming and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR) confirming the deed.
On Monday, the Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, said he was against the casino project in the island, claiming that it was the case to consider Boracay a land farm area and that he would hand it to farmers.
In a report from the Inquirer on Thursday, the PAGCOR chief, Andrea Domingo, said she trusted the chief executive’s ‘intelligence and discernment’ to make a carefully thought out policy that would consider the benefits of having such a large investment located on the island.
Domingo claims she expects GEG to help preserve the environment in Boracay, ‘similar to its projects in Macau.’
The island which the Philippines President said has turned into a “cesspool” due to pollution and the lack of proper sewage will be closed from April 26 for rehabilitation and may reopen in four months, after some considered it could be closed for six months or an entire year.
The PAGCOR chief said further that Galaxy and Leisure and Resorts World would not be building a ‘mega casino,’ contrary to reports, according to The Inquirer.
“Only a small portion [of the project’s area] will be for gaming,” Ms. Domingo was quoted as saying. “The rest will be for hotels, recreational facilities, a theme park, restaurants and other tourism related facilities. Gaming is only 7.5 percent.”
GEG executives have met with the Philippines President in December 2017, when the company announced they were moving forward with plans to develop the project.