In the Philippines and Leisure and Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) has reportedly pulled out of the plan that was to have seen it partner with Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited in order to construct a $500 million integrated casino resort on the small island of Boracay.

According to a report from GGRAsia citing multiple local news outlets, Eusebio Tanco serves as the Acting Chairman for the local casino operator and he detailed that his firm had ceased talks with Hong Kong-listed compatriot Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited regarding the Philippines scheme.

Grand designs:

Manila-headquartered LRWC had reportedly envisioned partnering to build ‘an environment-friendly resort’ featuring a 1,000-room hotel, around 200 adjacent villas and a casino offering up to 60 gaming tables. But this proposal was dealt a major blow in April of 2018 when Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte shut the 2,550-acre island for six months so that its sewerage infrastructure could be upgraded.

Conditional consent:

GGRAsia reported that Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited had earlier received provisional authorization from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator to build the Boracay venue and was hoping to begin welcoming guests as early as 2021. However, all hopes that the island located some 196 miles south of Manila would one day host such a facility were subsequently dealt an even more onerous setback when 74-year-old Duterte designated it as a ‘land reform area’ in order to be able to gift local farmers their own plots.

Indeterminate delay:

This reportedly led the President and Chief Operating Officer for PAGCor, Alfredo Lim, to later declare that the entire Philippines project had been ‘put on hold’ although he advised that this status could possibly be changed if the developers could ‘come up with certain measures that will convince the President.’

Valuable investment:

It would now seem that LRWC is not willing to wait although Tanco reportedly proclaimed that his firm will be holding on to its land on Boracay with an eye to possibly developing some kind of non-gaming facility in the distant future.

Tanco reportedly stated…

“We are not looking at a casino but I’m keeping that piece of land. I’ll just hold on to that piece of land but I’m not going to do a casino there. I’ll just land-bank it.”