Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd confirmed on Friday plans to develop a casino resort in the central Philippine island of Boracay. The company said such investment would be done in partnership with Philippines-based Leisure and Resorts World Corp – a company that has several interests in the land-based and online gambling sectors in that country.
“Galaxy is excited about the possibility of teaming with Leisure and Resorts to develop a world class beach resort for our players in Boracay which was just rated the number 1 island in the world in 2017 by Conde Nast Traveller readers,” said Francis Lui Yiu Tung, vice chairman of Galaxy Entertainment, in a statement sent to GGRAsia.
The executive also confirmed having met with the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, to discus “potential business opportunities in the Philippines”.
The news had been reported earlier by Bloomberg News. The media outlet quoted Andrea Domingo, head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), as saying that Galaxy Entertainment and its Philippines partner plan to open a US$300 million to US$500 million casino on Boracay. The companies are applying for a licence, Ms Domingo reportedly said.
In his statement, Mr Lui said: “China’s relationship with the Philippines has been improving. K Wah Group and Galaxy would like to play a role in the One Belt One Road initiative and we strongly believe the Philippines has great potential and offers attractive opportunities.”
Hong Kong-based building materials firm K. Wah Group Ltd is the parent firm of Galaxy Entertainment. The latter company had previously said it was exploring opportunities outside of the Macau gaming market.
Reuters news agency quoted Pagcor president and chief operating officer Alfredo Lim as saying that the project planned for Boracay would “further improve” the country’s tourism sector.
“The project is intended for foreigners, junket operators and high-rollers,” Mr Lim reportedly said, adding that the casino resort could start operating three years after the plan’s approval.
The Philippines casino industry reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of PHP75.92 billion (US$1.50 billion) for the first half of 2017, an increase of 15.7 percent in year-on-year terms, according to data released in October by the country’ regulator. The head of Pagcor said in August that nationwide casino GGR was likely to post only a slight year-on-year increase in full 2017, to about PHP150 billion.
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