MANILA - The planned casinos in Boracay are expected to attract high-end tourists and players and generate thousands of jobs when they open, the country’s gaming regulator said on Monday.
Amid opposition from Boracay residents, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) said the development of the casinos by Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc, and Macau’s Galaxy Group would be good for the resort island.
“If you saw the development in these two areas, you would imagine that they are really really maybe a hundred times better than the small little little stalls that actually overcrowd the main island right after the beaches,” said PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo.
Domingo said Newcoast casino is expected to bring in between 2,500 to 3,000 mostly foreign tourists a week, as its clientele will come mainly from passengers of Genting Cruises.
She said Newcoast casino cost around P19 billion to develop, and that the company was getting ready to bring in gaming machines and equipment before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a ban on casinos in Boracay following its rehabilitation.
Newcoast was expected to generate around 10,000 jobs, Domingo added.
Galaxy meanwhile was investing $500 million or around P25 billion to set up its casino in Boracay.
Domingo said the casino operators will respect environmental laws as no company would make a huge investment on the island only to have garbage ruin the area.
“I think those fears are unfounded,” Domingo said.
After saying he “hates” gambling and imposing a ban on casinos in Boracay back in 2018, Duterte made a U-turn last month and said he would allow casinos in Boracay because the government needs funds.