Benitez: Galaxy hesitant to pursue Boracay casino | Inquirer Business

Benitez: Galaxy hesitant to pursue Boracay casino

BACOLOD CITY—Listed gaming company DigiPlus Interactive Corp. (formerly Leisure and Resorts World Corp.) is trying to woo back its partner in the planned $500-million integrated beach resort and casino project on Boracay Island.

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, founder of DigiPlus, said the firm was gauging the “comfort level” of Macau casino giant Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. to convince them to finally come back and restart the planned casino resort.

Benitez, who stepped down from the DigiPlus management in 2021, said: “That is exactly what we are asking: what will it take for you to come back in again?”


He also said their foreign counterpart was “somewhat iffy” because “what guarantee can we give them now that what happened before will not happen again.”


The diplomatic relations of Manila and Beijing will also shape how the project will move forward because Galaxy’s clientele are mostly Chinese. Despite this, the mayor believes the Marcos administration was more receptive to the plan since it understood the value of bringing the investor into the country.

In 2017, Galaxy Entertainment and DigiPlus unveiled their intention to undertake the multimillion dollar project. Two years later, they were compelled to put the plan on hold following the casino ban imposed by former President Rodrigo Duterte to clean up the island for six months.

Benitez said the parties won’t be going back to square one since there was progress made before plans were derailed. Galaxy was able to secure a provisional gaming license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. in 2018.“[Something has already been done], in fact all the plans and designs are already finished,” he said, adding: “It is already in the international map, international radar speed.”

He also defended the project, saying an international tourism perspective must be used to appreciate the plan. INQ

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TAGS: Boracay, Business, casino

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