The terms of reference in an approved bill for a planned Boracay Island Development Authority envisages the possibility of gaming, amusement and recreational facilities operating on the holiday island (pictured). That is subject, as appropriate, to the licensing rules of the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), reported on Wednesday the Philippine Inquirer.
On Monday, the Business Mirror reported that the setting up of such a Boracay authority was opposed by “government agencies, local government units, stakeholders, and fellow congressmen”.
The Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group – associated with the environmental clean-up of the island, which had been closed to tourists from April 26, 2018 to October 2 that year, was quoted as saying that the country’s leader, President Rodrigo Duterte “was clear in his pronouncement in 2018 that casinos will not be allowed in Boracay”.
Philippines-listed Leisure and Resorts World Corp previously proposed a US$500-million casino resort on Boracay, in partnership with Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
In a December 2019 filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Leisure and Resorts World said “due to the moratorium imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte, there are no further discussions on the Boracay project with Galaxy Entertainment.”
Two committees of the Philippine House of Representatives approved on June 15 a substitute and consolidated bill from nine bills, providing for the creation of the Boracay Island Development Authority, reported local media.
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Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings