After last week saw Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte kill its plan to build a $500 million integrated casino resort on the small island of Boracay, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited is now reportedly on the hunt for a new site in the east Asian nation.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the plan from Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited was scrapped after Duterte stated on April 9 that he was against the 1,000-room project because he did not believe it would benefit the local population. This came a day after the 73-year-old approved recommendations from the Department of Tourism and the Department of Interior and Local Government that will close the 2,550-acre island to all tourists for six months from next Thursday so that its sewerage infrastructure can be upgraded.
“Galaxy [Entertainment Group Limited] has said that it is now looking for another site [and] that is very much welcome,” reportedly read a statement from Frederick Alegre, Assistant Secretary for the nation’s Department of Tourism.
GGRAsia reported that the Boracay rejection was especially hard on Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited because it had earlier received a provisional license for the project from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. But, the regulator later purportedly detailed that this authorization had been granted simply because the island located some 196 miles south of Manila was considered a ‘green field zone’ in a rural area that had a ‘high potential for tourism development with no existing casino’.
“The provisional gaming license was issued after [Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited] met all initial documentary requirements including a ‘certificate of no objection’ and a minimum investment commitment of not less than $300 million,” reportedly read an April 11 statement from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
GGRAsia reported that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation subsequently explained that this provisional certification had been ‘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’ with operational and casino licenses.
Once Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited locates a new site for its planned Philippines integrated casino resort, Alegre reportedly proclaimed that it will be required to repeat the accreditation process in advance of securing another provisional license.