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Philippines – Presidential spokesman ends confusion over Galaxy’s Boracay casino licence

By - 12 April 2018

Despite being granted a casino licence by Philippine gaming regulator, Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) has seen its plans to build US$500m casino resort on Boracay island scuppered by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, pictured.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has officially confirmed: “There will be no new casino in Boracay. I do not know how this will be resolved but as far Boracay is concerned, [Duterte] wants the people to benefit from Boracay. Of course, we welcome all investors, but I think the President has already addressed the issue of a new casino in Boracay. There will be no new casino in Boracay.”

His comments follow more unofficial comments from President Rodrigo Duterte himself, who reportedly said, following the granting of the licence: “I don’t have plans there for casinos. There are enough, there is too much – casino here, casino there. Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers first. I will issue a proclamation that all of the land will be agricultural.”

Galaxy had teamed up with Philippines partner Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) to buy a 23-hectare site on Boracay to build its resort on.

PAGCOR explained that the licence it issued was only provisional.

It stated: “The provisional license is only the start of a very long and tedious process of compliance that every integrated resort operator must go through before they can be issued by PAGCOR a Notice to Commence Casino Operations and eventually, a regular casino gaming license. PAGCOR, being a government entity under the Office of the President, abides by the laws and orders of the land. As regulator, it ensures that its licensees comply with pertinent laws, rules, regulations and ordinances promulgated by authorities relative to the establishment and operation of casinos.”

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