Duterte Blocks Boracay Casino Project Due To Environmental Woes
President Rodrigo Duterte has blocked Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., Macau’s casino operator from building a $500 million resort on the island of Boracay amid an environmental crisis.
In March, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., or Pagcor, which regulates the casino industry, granted a provisional license to Galaxy to open a casino and resort in Boracay, a popular destination for Chinese tourists.
The decision to put a casino on Boracay—a small island in the central Philippines once known for its crystal-clear waters and palm-lined beaches, and now facing problems with polluted waters and trash—drew criticism from environmental groups.
In an interview during their news conference in Hong Kong last Wednesday night, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the license granted to a Macau-based gaming firm was “void from the start.” He reiterated that President Duterte never authorized the operation of a casino in Boracay.