Duterte spokesman delivers fatal blow to Galaxy’s Boracay casino plans

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Following a week of claim and counterclaim, Harry Roque, spokesman for Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, has finally offered some clarity in the debate surrounding Galaxy Entertainment‘s plans for an integrated resort on the island of Boracay – it’s not happening.

“There will be no new casino in Boracay,” Roque told a a news conference in Hong Kong, a stop on President Duterte’s trip around the region.

Confirming Duterte’s earlier comments that the president had not granted any approval for the scheme, Roque said that, while Galaxy has a provisional licence from the Philippines gaming regulator, PAGCOR, it will not be permitted to construct an integrated resort on the island of Boracay.

Earlier on Wednesday, PAGCOR has issued its own statement warning Galaxy and joint-venture partner Leisure and Resorts World, that the provisional licence previously issued was not in itself permission to progress, warning of a long qualification process yet to take place.

The island is soon to close to tourism for a six-month period of environmental remediation and LRW had hoped to use the closure to begin developing a 23-hectare site it had reportedly secured for the scheme.

Duterte’s office has now made it clear that, as things stand, there is no chance of that happening.