Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, the leading operator in Macau commented that is not weighting the possibility of starting anything in Boracay, an island in the Philippines, including a resort. The company also added that this “was contrary to some recent media reports.”
The primary focus is the full reopening of Macau:
In addition to the statement mentioned above, the firm also said in its October 16 announcement, listing the official return of the entire Macau regulated market, following the raise of the of the city-wide Covid-19 limitations, as well as the extension of its leading Galaxy Macau resort on Cotai: “Our recent focus is on the full reopening of Macau, ramping up our recently launched Phase 3 and the construction of Phase 4.”
GGRAsia has reached the Galaxy Ent. for comment, following news in the Philippine media quoting Sunday comments by politician and businessman Albee Benitez, that he would greet the company’s return to discussions on the Boracay project, that is worth US$500 million. The situation with the said businessman was that through the said Philippine media, he made a plea to the flagship Macau operator to reconsider the idea of a linking up with the firm he established, in order to jointly built the aforementioned casino-resort. On that note, he said according to the said media: “It is just a matter of getting [their] comfort level high enough to return.”
Galaxy Ent. initially showed interest:
Furthermore, Benitez, the mayor of the Bacolod City, located in the northern Philippines, is associated with DigiPlus Interactive Corp., previously known as Leisure and Resorts World Corp. However, that plea didn’t come out of nowhere, because six years ago, in 2017, Galaxy showed interest in the idea. Relatedly, Benitez retired from the management of DigiPlus as early as 2021.
According to a Philippine Daily Inquirer report on Benitez’s newest comments, it is stated that “the factor of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines playing a role, as Galaxy Entertainment’s customers in Macau are mostly Chinese. The administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr recognized the value of bringing over a world-class [casino] operator to the Philippines. Let us look at it from an international tourism perspective, because that is where the resources, the dollars are in that can propel the country into greater heights.”
When the Boracay project first had to obtain the necessary licenses from Philippine regulators, during July 2018, the administration of Rodrigo Duterte, then head of state, stated that “no construction of a new casino would be permitted on that island.” Also, during the same year, but in April, the order was given by national government that Boracay must be temporarily closed for what was then said to be environmental cleanup.
In late 2019, it was announced that Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC) was withdrawing from plans to enter into an alliance with Galaxy Ent. for the aforementioned casino-resort project. However, as soon as 2021 came, the national government’s opinion about the casino project changed significantly in the direction of its permission.
And finally, during June 2023, Alliance Global Group Inc., another Philippine conglomerate, said that “the part of its long-term strategy is the possibility of casino investment on Boracay.”