Philippine firm Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC) spelled out in a Thursday filing to the country’s stock exchange, that it had yet to speak to Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd about the possibility of revisiting a linkup on what had been described previously as a US$500-million Boracay casino plan.
On Wednesday, Albee Benitez, a director of Leisure and Resorts World, had been cited by the online service of GMA News as saying the firm was interested in “reviving” such a plan.
Thursday’s statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange said: “We would like to clarify that the company has yet to talk to our partner, Galaxy [Entertainment].”
Leisure and Resorts World added, referring to a public-policy reversal flagged last week by Philippine leader President Rodrigo Duterte, ending a casino ban for Boracay: “The company is looking forward to the resumption of the discussions with Galaxy in view of the President’s go-signal for casino operation in Boracay.”
GGRAsia approached Galaxy Entertainment last week, seeking comment on the Boracay situation, but had not received any reply by the time this story went online.
In a separate Thursday filing to the Manila bourse, Megaworld Corp, part of Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc, gave a statement relating to Boracay and the casino issue.
Megaworld clarified that comments attributed on Wednesday in the Philippine media to entrepreneur Andrew Tan were made on behalf of Alliance Global.
Alliance Global is an investor in Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, the owner and operator of the Resorts World Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital. The other partner in Travellers International is Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
The Megaworld filing said Alliance Global was “proceeding with its planned casino project inside the Boracay Newcoast development of Global Estate Resorts Inc”.
Megaworld’s statement added: “No other details were given with regard to the proposed casino.”
The announcement by Megaworld also reproduced in full what it said was Mr Tan’s original statement on Boracay.
It read: “We will proceed with our casino project in Boracay Newcoast. We already have several hotels there and we are still building more. There is also a golf course, the only one in the entire Boracay island. We are very hopeful that the tourism industry in this island will recover fast after the pandemic.”
Supplementary to President Duterte’s statement on a go-ahead for casino business on Boracay, the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, also known as Pagcor, specified that the respective schemes of Leisure and Resorts World and of Mr Tan’s business interests would be covered by the relaxation.
In comments carried out by GMA News on Tuesday, Pagcor chairman Andrea Domingo said that both projects had previously secured gaming licences from the regulator, prior to 2018 casino moratorium introduced by President Duterte.
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