By Daniela Wei
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. is planning to develop a resort in the Philippines as casino operators seek out new markets for growth.
Galaxy’s billionaire Deputy Chairman Francis Lui met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday to discuss gaming opportunities, Lui said in an email. Galaxy and its Philippines partner, Leisure & Resorts World Corp., plan to open a $300 million to $500 million casino on the resort island of Boracay, Philippine Amusement & Gaming Chairman Andrea Domingo said Thursday. The companies are applying for a license, she said.
Casino operators are fanning across Asia to build new gaming resorts, and the Philippines’ loose regulation of gaming and young population has made it an attractive destination. President Rodrigo Duterte’s bid to ease tensions with China is also helping to draw in gamblers from the mainland.
“Galaxy would like to play a role in the One Belt One Road initiative and we strongly believe the Philippines has great potential and offers attractive opportunities,” Lui said, referring to China’s economic and diplomatic program to increase trade with countries in the region.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. is now the only Macau-based operator that has a footprint in the Philippines. Its $1 billion City of Dreams Manila, operated by the local unit of the operator, opened in Manila’s Entertainment City in 2015.
–With assistance from Cecilia Yap and Ian Sayson.
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