Will Galaxy Still Be Interested In Boracay Casino After China Pressure?
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the moratorium on preventing casinos to be developed on Boracay. The moratorium was put in place in Jan 2018 to protect the island from being exploited environmentally but President Duterte felt that in light of the COVID-19 impact on tourism and finances, it was time for Boracay to host a multi-million dollar casino resort.
Macau based Galaxy Entertainment partnered with Leisure and Resorts World to express interest in the past to develop a $500 million casino resort in Boracay. When the Philippines decided to put a halt to those plans, Leisure and Resorts World decided to pull out.
Now that plans for a casino in Boracay are back on the table, Leisure and Resorts World is once again interested in partnering with Galaxy Entertainment for its casino resort project.
While Leisure and Resorts World is keen to proceed with the Boracay casino project, there has been no update from Galaxy Entertainment.
Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd analysts claim that Galaxy Entertainment may no longer be interested in developing a Boracay casino resort. The main reason for this is because of the new policies that Beijing has rolled out. China has discouraged casino operators from encouraging Chinese residents to travel outside the country to gamble at casinos in neighbouring countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and South Korea.
Sanford analysts said that they don’t think Galaxy Entertainment would pursue the Boracay casino project anytime in the near future. Galaxy Entertainment has a number of casino resorts in Macau and does not want to fall into bad books with the Chinese government as that could impact its operations in the Macau peninsula.
Megaworld Corp Expresses Interest
While Galaxy Entertainment’s interest in the Boracay casino project appears to have gone cold, a local operator has expressed interest in taking up the Boracay casino project. Megaworld Corp which runs multiple hotels and projects in Boracay said they were interested in developing a casino in Boracay Newcoast.
Boracay is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines and attracts a heavy flow of domestic and international tourists. International casino operators will show more interest in the Boracay casino project if it becomes clear that the government is serious about moving forward with this proposal.
There continues to be heavy opposition to developing a casino resort in Boracay.