Hong Kong-based hotel and casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group will pursue expansion in the Philippines, the company confirmed earlier today. Galaxy Entertainment is one of six concessionaires authorized to operate casino gambling in Macau.
The company, founded by Chinese entrepreneur Lui Che Woo in 1988, has joined forces with Philippine partner Leisure & Resorts World Corp. to seek regulatory green light from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). Under Philippine gambling laws, any international must work with a local partner in order to be allowed to build and operate a casino in the country.
The two businesses revealed they want to build a $300 million to $500 million casino resort on the Boracay island, known to be one of the Philippines’ most popular tourist destinations. Galaxy Entertainment told media that they see great potential and opportunities in the Philippines and are looking forward to being able to enter the local market.
If given the necessary regulatory approval, the two partners will build a hotel and casino complex that will be targeting international tourists and high roller casino players from the Asia-Pacific region.
Representatives for both Galaxy Entertainment and Resorts World discussed their joint project with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at a Wednesday telephone call. The two companies hope that the warming ties between China and the Philippines would bring more high-spending customers from the Mainland.
The two countries maintained an openly hostile relationship over territories and hydrocarbon resources in the South China Sea for years. However, President Duterte announced last year that he would seek peaceful resolution to the prolonged dispute and would realign with China, thus “separating” from its long-time partner the United States.
Why Has Galaxy Entertainment Picked the Philippines?
The Macau casino operator has been interested in expanding its footprint internationally for some time now. It can be said that it has chosen the Philippines due to the country’s growing casino and integrated resort industry and the warming ties with China.
Here it is important to note that the Philippines and its casino sector have already begun bearing the fruit of the country’s renewed stance towards China. According to information from PAGCOR, gross gaming revenue from the nation’s land-based casinos and electronic gaming sites totaled PHP88 billion during the first half of 2017, up 12% from the same period in 2016. The revenue boost was attributed to the increased number of high rollers from China and South Korea gambling at the Philippines’ casinos.
The Southeast Asian nation has expanded significantly its casino industry over the past several years. Three integrated resorts with casino floors opened doors in the capital Manila over a relatively short period of time, and a fourth such property will be launched within the next several years.
Regulators believe that the country’s gambling venues could generate annual revenue of between PHP155 billion and PHP160 billion this year.
Terry Davis holds a degree in Psychology, but it was after his graduation that he found his real passion – writing. Previously, he worked for a local news magazine.