Chinese tourists are visiting Korea in ever-larger
numbers and they generally spend a lot of
cash during their stay.
So the government is stepping up efforts to
accommodate them,… including plans to build
resort complexes… equipped with casinos.
For this week′s Industry Insight, our Kim
Ji-yeon takes a look at the challenges and
rewards for Korea′s casino industry.
Will the opening of resort complexes… equipped
with hotels, shops and casinos… bring investment
and boost the economy?
The Korean government is betting it will.
It believes it can raise one-point-eight billion
U.S. dollars from the casino industry.
Now, it′s letting Korean companies get in
on the bidding, a privilege once reserved
for foreign investors.
Just last month, the Ministry of Strategy
and Finance gave the green light to the development
of two additional foreigner-only casino-and-resort
complexes in the country′s free economic
It plans to select the two licensees by 2020.
Already, the country has attracted investors
for two complexes on Yeongjongdo Island, located
in the western city of Incheon.
The Korea-based Paradise Group and the multi-national
casino firm Caesars Entertainment Corporation
are each building a resort complex there.
Both are seeking to be the Korean version
of Singapore′s Marina Bay Sands… which
raised 5-point-4-billion dollars in sales
But challenges lie ahead if they′re to survive
in the competition against the massive casino-and-resort
complexes in Macao and Okinawa.
But mainly, there′s the “China risk factor”
the income of casinos in Korea is heavily
reliant on visiting Chinese tourists.
That′s because the Korean government currently
bans its nationals from all casinos except
The casino in northeastern Gangwon-do province
is the only one Korean nationals can go to.
The other 16 casinos rely on those with foreign
The tourism ministry says the combined sales
of foreigner-only casinos is at around one-point-two-billion
dollars,… similar to the sales at the casino
“The restriction placed on Korean nationals
will affect the competitiveness of the Korean
casino industry. The scale and amount of investment
in the resort complexes is going to be smaller
than in other neighboring countries.”
Korea is capping investments in its complexes
at 900-million dollars a year,… a figure
far below that of its rivals.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is
increasingly trying to root out gambling…
as part of an anti-corruption campaign.
That has raised fears the Chinese government
will restrict its nationals from gambling…
both at home and abroad.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.