By the end of the year, the government of South Korea will issue two new casino licenses to investors willing to spend a minimum of KRW1 trillion (US3 million) to develop there.
Officials have already approved two licenses for foreigners-only gaming halls. One went to Caesars Entertainment and Hong Kong-listed Lippo Ltd., and one to Paradise Co. Ltd., in partnership with Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. and possibly SJM Holdings Ltd., Macau’s leading operator. The first two casinos, based in Incheon, are expected to open before the XXIII Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeong Chang in 2018.
The Korea Herald reports that South Korea is now the third most popular destination for mainland Chinese tourists after Hong Kong and Macau. That figure is expected to reach 6.1 million by the end of this year, up about 40.9 percent from 2013. The number grew by more than half from 2012 to 2013.
A partnership of Genting Singapore, developer of the Resorts World Sentosa Casino, and Landing International Development Ltd., a mainland China property developer, hopes to break ground this year on a US$2.2 billion integrated resort project on the vacation island of Jeju. Landing International just announced the grand reopening of a renovated casino at the Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel; it controls the resort, and the casino is owned by Grand Express Korea Co. Ltd., a joint venture with Genting Hong Kong Ltd., which invested KRW130 billion (US$117 million) in the project.
The foreigners-only casino at the Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel will operate under the name Genting Jeju. It has 26 baccarat tables, one blackjack table, one tai sai (sic bo) table, one roulette table and 16 slot machines.