Boracay casino could generate 10,000 jobs, PAGCOR says

There are two companies interested in developing a casino resort in Boracay.
There are two companies interested in developing a casino resort in Boracay.

PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo has said a casino development in Boracay could generate 10,000 jobs and attract up to 3,000 foreign tourists a week.

The Philippines.- PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo has supported Duterte’s suggestion of allowing gambling in Boracay. She says the development could attract up to 3,000 foreign tourists a week and create 10,000 jobs.

Domingo also said that concerns about environmental issues were unfounded, citing a study. She said a company would not invest in the island “just to make garbage and destroy the ocean.”

However, residents, businessmen and environmental activists have shown concern about the possible casino development.

The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment has said that amid the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions, casinos cannot contribute to economic recovery as tourist visitation remain restricted. The group added authorities should focus on increasing the vaccination rate on the island to allow the return of foreign visitors.

Casino proposals for Boracay

There are currently two proposals for Boracay. LRWC seeks to work on a casino resort with Galaxy Entertainment Group. However, Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd is cautious about the possibility of Galaxy Entertainment being interested in Boracay now as it faces the expiry of its current Macau gaming rights in June 2022.

An original project was announced in December 2017 and LRWC bought the parcels of land in Boracay for US$500m before Duterte closed the island destination to tourism due to concerns for the environment, leading LRWC to drop drop its plan.

The second project belongs to billionaire Andrew Tan, chief executive officer and vice chairman of Tan’s Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI). He has said he intends to go ahead despite opposition from residents and environmental groups.

Tan said: “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.”

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