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 https://casinoslots-sa.co.za/online-roulette.
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 zones. 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 last year. 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 one. 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 passports.
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 in Gangwon-do. "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.