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Binay tells PAGCOR to follow Duterte’s casino ban in Boracay

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Senator Nancy Binay on Monday urged the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) to just heed President Duterte’s moratorium on new casinos, including the one being eyed in Boracay island.

Binay, chair of the Senate committee on tourism, said no less than the President himself, echoed by Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque, said that there will be no new casino built in Boracay despite the provisional license by Pagcor to the Macau-based casino operator, Galaxy Entertainment Group.

“We just have to trust. Ilang beses na rin paulit-ulit na sinasabi ni Presidente na wala nang casino,” she said.

“Siguro magandang tingnan ngayon, sana sumunod yung Pagcor. Bawiin na nila yung provisional authority to operate para wala na talagang bahid na matutuloy pa ‘yung proyekto,” she added.

Roque said he’s not aware of the provisional license granted by Pagcor to the Chinese gaming firm.

Pagcor, in a statement issued last week, admitted issuing a provisional license but emphasized that it will entail a long and tedious process before the company and its local partner is given a regular gaming license.

There’s no doubt, Binay said, that the government’s decision to close the island from local and foreign tourists is intended to rehabilitate Boracay from environmental degradation.

“Ako kasi personally, di ba nagkaroon din tayo ng hearing sa Boracay, talagang mukha namang gusto lang nila talagang ayusin. At I also agree na kelangan din natin talagang ayusin ang Boracay,” the senator said.

Binay, however, is not convinced on the plan to convert Boracay into an agricultural area.

“At this point, kasi di ba parang ano na sya, tourist destination? So ‘yun na yung primary use ng Boracay. So baka dapat yun na lang yung ayusin at siguruhin na hindi naman masisira yung island of Boracay,” she said.