President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier this week denied knowledge of plans for a casino on Boracay, in December met with officials from Galaxy Entertainment Group to discuss the project, local media reports.
According to ABS-CBN news, a press release from the President Communications Operations Office showed the meeting was held on Dec. 6th.
"Galaxy Entertainment, one of the world’s leading resorts, hospitality and gaming companies, tied up with a local partner to invest in the Philippines. The company is in the process of complying with government requirements to start operating in the country," the PCOO said at the time.
Among Galaxy Entertainment’s officials who paid a courtesy call on President Duterte were Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. chairman Dr. Lui Che Woo, Deputy Chairman Francis Lui Yiu Tung, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Dir. Rolando Macasaet, Galaxy Entertainment President Michael Victor Mecca, Senior Director for Strategic Planning Roland To Chi Kay, Senior Director for International Premium and Mass Market Development Raymond Yap Yin Min, Senior Manager Andrew Nicolas Lui, and Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Negros Occidental (Third District).
The Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. granted Galaxy Entertainment and its local partner a provisional license to build a $500 million resort on the island in March.
However, Duterte has since ordered a six-month closure of Boracay in an attempt to reverse environmental damage caused by uncontrolled tourism.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Duterte appeared to rule out the possibility of a casino resort on the island, saying he would turn the land over to farmers.
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