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Galaxy denies Boracay casino rumours

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
In a short statement released late on Monday, Macau concessionaire Galaxy Entertainment Group denied rumours it was planning to re-enter Boracay Island in the Philippines to develop a casino resort.
Galaxy Boracay

The statement pours cold water on speculation in the Filipino press that Galaxy would be restarting work on its paused Boracay Island project.

Galaxy Entertainment instead said its focus was on Macau, highlighting the continuing development of its Galaxy Macau property.  

The statement comes following comments by Alfredo Benitez, the founder of DigiPlus Interactive Corp, formerly Leisure and Resorts World Corp, in the Philippines Business Inquirer.

Benitez urges Galaxy to return to Boracay

He told the newspaper DigiPlus was gauging the “comfort level” of Galaxy to come back and resume work on its stalled Boracay casino. Digiplus had been Galaxy’s local partner in the Philippines for a planned $500m casino resort on the island. However, the project was nixed in 2018 when then-president Rodrigo Duterte banned casinos from being built on the holiday island. This followed a six-month island-wide clean-up project.

Benitez resigned in 2021 as president of DigiPlus to run for mayor of Bacolod City but remains the majority shareholder.

Despite the president making a U-turn in 2021 to alleviate Covid-19 related fiscal concerns, Galaxy have not since returned to the island. Benitez told the Business Inquirer that the Marcos administration might be receptive to the development since it understood the value of new investors to the country.

Galaxy’s short statement puts an end to the speculation, stating that “contrary to some recent media reports” it is not currently interested in scheme.

Galaxy buoyed by good news in Macau

Galaxy’s announcement that it will be focusing on its operations in Macau comes as the business recovers from the decline in custom experienced in 2022.

In its Q2 financial report, Galaxy reported a 257% year-on-year increase in revenue to HK$8.7bn (£914.1m/$1.12bn/€1.05bn).

As such, the company said its focus would be on its recently relaunched Phase 3 development programme in the Special Administrative Region and construction of Phase 4, the next stage of the project.

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