Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and its Philippines partner Leisure & Resorts World Corporation have been granted a provisional gaming license by gaming regulator Pagcor for their US$500 million integrated resort on the tourist island of Boracay.
Galaxy revealed that its license application had been successful in an announcement on Wednesday, with Vice Chairman Francis Lui stating, “We would like to thank Pagcor for their vote of confidence in granting GEG a provisional gaming license in the Philippines to strategically expand our brand into overseas markets.
“We are very excited about the prospect of investing up to US$500 million into a proposed premium quality, low rise, eco-friendly resort development located in Boracay, the world’s premier beach destination.
“We are pleased to support President Duterte and the Philippine government’s initiative for the managed and sustainable development of Boracay. Further, we will contribute positively to the local economy and actively partner with the Boracay community.
“We are confident that we will raise the bar in both resort quality and service and generate significant jobs in both construction and resort operations. This exciting project also clearly demonstrates GEG’s commitment to support China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.”
GEG said that the expansion of the Caticlan airport makes Boracay a more conveniently accessible destination and enhances the company’s ability to attract affluent customers from China, Hong Kong and Macau.
“Our local partner, Leisure & Resorts World Corporation, continues to assist in the land acquisition process for the planned development of a premium quality eco-friendly resort in Boracay which will include a GEG casino,” the company added.
“The water front land parcel is in excess of 20 hectares and includes beaches. The proposed low rise resort will rival any ‘must visit’ beach destination in the world. We believe the demand for Asian tourism will continue to experience significant growth in the years ahead and the proposed Boracay resort is very accessible and convenient to the Asian market.”
Boracay has hit the headlines over the past week after it was revealed that the island could be shut down for up to a year in order to clean up serious pollution problems, particularly the pumping of raw sewerage directly onto beaches.
Speaking before the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines on Tuesday night, President Rodrigo Duterte stated that he would support such a move if it was officially recommended by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry has estimated that such a closure would cost 17,000 jobs and around Php56 million in tourist revenue. Supporters of the move say the long-term health of the island is of greater importance.