President Duterte Gives Approval For Casino To Be Developed In Boracay, Philippines
The latest report from the Philippines states that President Rodrigo Duterte has given the green light for a multi-million dollar casino resort to be developed in Boracay. The Philippines is a tourist hotspot for a lot of Western travellers and Boracay is one of the most popular destinations in the country.
There were talks in the past of developing a casino resort in Boracay as it would not only help to boost tourism numbers but would also generate a lot of jobs for the people of Boracay. The casino would also bring in massive investment into the Philippines and generate a significant amount in gaming taxes for the government.
Those talks came to an end in 2018 when President Rodrigo Duterte issued a moratorium on the development of new casinos on Boracay.
The President has decided to lift the moratorium as he believes this is the right time to proceed with a new casino development project.
The Philippines depends heavily on its tourism industry and due to COVID-19 has seen a massive decline in tourists and revenues. The government is looking for new ways to boost tourism and bring in more revenue. Developing a casino resort in Boracay appears to be one of the best ways to achieve this objective.
Pagcor issued a gaming license to Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd to develop a casino in Boracay. Galaxy would go on to enter a partnership agreement with local operator Leisure and Resorts World Corp and expressed interesting in developing a $500 million casino resort in Boracay.
Galaxy and Leisure and Resorts World Corp purchased 23 hectares in Barangay Manoc-Manoc which is one of the three villages in Boracay. Due to the moratorium, Leisure and Resorts World Corp decided to drop out of the project in 2019.
Boracay Residents Oppose Casino
While the government has approved the Boracay casino, there have been strong protests from residents and businesses in Boracay. They were very vocal in their disapproval for developing a casino in Boracay and said the President should focus on boosting vaccination rates in Boracay which in turn help the tourism industry.
There have also been protests from the Catholic Church who claim that a casino resort will destroy the community as it will increase vices like gambling and drug addiction.
As of now, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd has not released any statement regarding its interest in developing a casino resort in Boracay.