Global casino majors snub Korea and choose Japan for NE Asian outposts

2021.11.11 09:35:19 | 2021.11.11 09:35:51

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Global casino majors Caesars and MGM have opted Japan for their Northeast Asian base over South Korea amid multiple regulations in the country due to its prejudice in gambling.

According to sources on Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment (known as Eldorado Resorts) which had pulled out of a stalled casino project in Midan City near Incheon International Airport in Korea was recently named as casino operator for Clairvest Neem Ventures` integrated resort development in Wakayama, Japan.

Caesars is one of the two foreign casino developers along with Inspire Seoul drew in 2014 to run facilities in the country’s first integrated resort complex project in Yeongjong Island.

After Caesars’s exist, the Midan City project will be solely led by China-based Guangzhou R&F Properties. Construction has been suspended amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Guangzhou R&F Properties was granted a conditional one-year extension in the project duration from local authorities.

Another casino giant MGM Resorts recently changed its direction to Japan after it failed to win a license in Busan North Port in South Korea where local regulations prevent foreign operators from running more than two casinos. MGM recently unveiled a $9 billion investment plan as its consortium received the rights to operate a casino in Osaka’s Yumeshima island district.

South Korea’s envisioning of a Korean version of Las Vegas in Yeongjong Island and named foreign operators for the project in 2014 has collapsed with the pullout of casino majors.

According to an analysis from Kyung Hee University’’s tourism professor Lee Choong-ki, as many as 7.7 million domestic and foreign tourists could choose Japan housed with casino facilities and spend 2.76 trillion won ($2.34 billion) per year there.

By Shin Ik-soo and Minu Kim

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