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Duterte gives casino operation in Boracay the thumbs up –Palace

Malacañang on Saturday said President Rodrigo Duterte approved the operation of a casino at the island destination of Boracay.

“The President has given his go-signal allowing the operation of a casino in Boracay. Prior to this directive, casino establishments have not been operating in the island,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

The Palace official, however, did not identify the casino establishment.

On Thursday, Duterte had a change of heart as he announced he would allow the establishment of casinos in Boracay because the government is running out of funds.

In February 2018, Duterte ordered a halt to the entry and creation of new casinos in the Philippines to prevent an oversupply.

Before Duterte’s order, Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group and Andrew Tan’s Megaworld were planning to put up integrated casino-resort projects in the island destination.

“Casino operation in Boracay shall follow restrictions such as the observance of safety and health protocols imposed in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring safeguards to keep children or minors away from gambling activities,” Roque said.

“This latest presidential pronouncement is part of the revenue-generating efforts of the government to augment funds for COVID-19 response,” he added. — DVM, GMA News