Pagcor open to ‘foreigners only’ gaming industry in Boracay Island
MANILA, Philippines – The state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) is open to a proposal, allowing the establishment of a gaming industry exclusive only for foreign tourists and travellers in Boracay Island, a famous white beach-lined resort in the Philippines.
The proposal was contained in a resolution passed by the municipal council of Malay , requesting President Benigno Aquino III and Pagcor to authorize the establishment and operation of “foreign tourist-only gaming” in Boracay.
Pagcor said it was aware of the resolution by the council, which the agency described as a “positive indication that the gaming business is welcome in said jurisdiction.”
“However, Pagcor also takes cognizance of concerns raised by other sectors in the province, including that of the Church,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Pagcor said the agency is “evaluating if it can put up gaming operations in Boracay by itself, or in partnership with a private proponent that has the capability to invest in such ventures.”
“Pagcor stresses, however, that the agency will take its cue from the President regarding the matter,” it added.
In his first weeks in office, President Aquino III expressed concerns over the proliferation of casinos in the country, even in areas with few tourists like his home province of Tarlac.
Even during the time of then President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pagcor’s plan to allow a casino to operate on the island had been shelved because of strong opposition from various sectors.