A person described as an aide to the head of the Philippine gaming regulator has been indirectly quoted by local media as saying the body had no problem with a request from a government task force to make sure no casinos were allowed to operate on the holiday island of Boracay (pictured).
“That’s the order of the President [Rodrigo Duterte]. He doesn’t want gaming in Boracay,” said Jose Tria, referred to as a special assistant to Andrea Domingo, head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, the country’s casino regulator, a body also known as Pagcor. Mr Tria was quoted by the Philippine Star newspaper on Tuesday.
On Monday the Business Mirror news outlet said that the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force had asked Ms Domingo to cancel “any and all gaming franchises and/or provisional licences” on Boracay.
The task force said the request was “in view of the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that no casino shall be allowed in Boracay Island, and in the light of the mandate given to it” through an executive order.
It had been announced in March that Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd had a provisional licence for a small-scale luxury casino resort on Boracay. But in April an aide of President Duterte appeared to question that decision, citing the wishes of the country’s leader.
Pagcor aide Mr Tria was cited on Tuesday as indicating there were only two casinos on Boracay with licences issued by Pagcor – Galaxy Entertainment’s scheme, and that of Alpha Allied Holdings Ltd, which reportedly operates gaming at a holiday resort.
Boracay was scheduled to reopen for tourism at the end of October after a six-month closure reportedly for an environmental clean-up.
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