It appears that Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) has determined that they will walk away from their partnership with Galaxy Entertainment to build the Galaxy Boracay Casino. This according to acting Chairman Eusebio Tanco, who declared that the $550 million integrated resort project on Boracay Island was no longer in the company’s plans.
In a statement, Tanco stated that “We are not looking at casino. But I’m keeping that piece of land. I’m keeping that piece of land and will just hold on to it. I will just land bank it.”
This project was initially announced in December 2017, as Galaxy Entertainment made an initial investment of $500 million. The partnership with LRWC solidified the likelihood of success for the project. Galaxy received a provisional license to open the casino in March 2018 which also granted them the right to build the IR on the island which is known for its white sandy beaches.
However, it soon met major roadblocks. Soon after the project was announced, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he was closing the island destination to tourism out of concerns for the environment. In a statement, the president declared that the increased number of visitors on the island was turning Boracay into a “cesspool.”
The project was soon back on track despite the island’s closure. It did not take long for conjecture around the project and its completion to begin to swirl. There was a concern that LRWC would walk away from the project, but these seem to have been dispelled when they purchased additional properties on the island. This was seen as a positive step toward solidifying their position in the project.
Just weeks ago, there were reports that the project was all but dead. Conflicting reports added that there was a potential for a modified plan that could help to revive the project and get it back on course. Now the departure of LRWC may be the deathblow to the resort casino.
Despite the news, it appears that Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd will continue to try to move ahead with the project. In a statement by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) president and chief operating officer, Alfredo C. Lim explained that the “environmentally-friendly approach” regarding the project still made for a conducive atmosphere in which to develop the resort and Casino. It may simply have to be “put on hold” at this time Lim explained.