Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte opposes Boracay casino
April 11, 2018 9:51 AM
by Robert Mann
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte now says he opposes plans by Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) and its Philippines partner Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) to build a $500 million(US) integrated resort in Boracay, claiming he will give the land to farmers instead.
Addressing local media on Monday, Duterte said, “I don't have plans there for casinos. There are enough, there is too much – casino here, casino there.”
He added, “Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers first. I will issue a proclamation that all of the land will be agricultural.
Duterte’s comments come less than three weeks after GEG and LRWC were approved for a provisional casino license by Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR for a “premium quality, low rise, eco-friendly casino/resort development” located in Boracay, the small island in the central Philippines known for its resorts and beaches.
Boracay’s immediate future also remains muddled because Duterte last week ordered the closure of the holiday island for six months to tourists, starting in late April in order to address concerns over rising pollution levels in the region.