The beginning of the week saw Galaxy Entertainment confirm that, for the time being, it remains uninterested in the pursuit of a license for an integrated casino resort on Boracay Island in the Philippines.
In a response to media reports that DigiPlus Interactive Group, which was formerly known as Leisure and Resorts World Corp., is once again calling for Galaxy Entertainment to re-establish their collaboration to seek permission to build and operate a casino resort on Boracay Island, representatives of the Hong Kong-based company said there was no place for speculation. Galaxy Entertainment Group confirmed that, contrary to some media reports, it is not considering the further pursuit of an integrated casino resort development on the Philippine island.
The company noted that it remains focused on the full reopening of its operations in Macau and is making progress with the recently launched Phase Three and Four of Galaxy Macau construction and establishment.
For the time being, Galaxy Entertainment is one of the six licensed casino operators on the territory of China’s special administrative region of Macau. The company primarily relies on the operations of its three integrated casino resorts there – StarWorld Macau on the Macau Peninsula, and the Cotai Strip-based Galaxy Macau and Broadway Macau.
Apart from that, the Hong Kong-based casino and entertainment group owns a 4.99% stake in the French casino and hospitality company Monte Carlo SBM.
Galaxy Entertainment Prioritizes the Reopening of Its Macau Operations
As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, in 2017, then-Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC) and Galaxy Entertainment announced a partnership agreement under which the two companies would pursue the establishment of a $550-million casino resort on Boracay Island, which has long been recognized as a top vacation destination for people from all over the world, thanks to its clear blue waters and pristine white-sand beaches. Unfortunately, poor conservation and sanitary infrastructure resulted in contamination of the island.
Shortly after the two companies unveiled their plans to bring a casino resort to the vacation destination, the country’s regulatory body – the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) – handed out a provision operating permit to the project. The duo, however, was unable to do much, because then-President Rodrigo Duterte stepped in and issued an order under which the island was closed for a six-month clean-up in 2018. This move had its effect on the casino plans unveiled by Galaxy Entertainment and LRWC, with Duterte eventually halting the project.
At the time, the then-President whose six-year term ended in 2022, noted that the people residing on Boracay Island did not want a casino, so gambling would not be allowed on the popular vacation destination.
Rodrigo Duterte has been known for the ups and downs of his relationship with the country’s commercial gambling sector. After initially opposing gambling citing moral grounds and making a promise to dispose of the state-owned Casino Filipino venues, he had a change of heart and started supporting gambling. He explained that he moved to a different opinion because he realized that gambling taxes were critical to both national and economic security.