The gambling market in South Korea is developing to attract tourists and investment by foreign casino operators. The country’s first licence to open a casino resort has been granted to a consortium made up of Caesars Entertainment, Lippo and OUE Ltd. While this is a first for South Korea, it is also a first for Caesars Entertainment which has finally managed to enter the booming Asian casino market. The company has lost out on entry into the gaming market in Macau which is said to be worth around 45 billion dollars but being granted the first South Korean licence will enable it to attract players from nearby China to its casino resort.
Caesars Entertainment gets approval for South Korean casino
The gaming licence granted by the South Korean authorities to the consortium of Caesars based in Las Vegas, Lippo based in Hong Kong and OUE Ltd based in Singapore is provisional for the moment. The huge venture will result in the country’s first foreign-clients- only casino resort. While South Korea has already has 16 other casinos that are also only open to foreign players, this new complex, which it is believed will cost over 2 billion dollars to develop, will the first to offer hotels, leisure activities and entertainment. The existing casinos are small and not suitable for the groups of tourists that the South Koreans hope will arrive when the Caesars integrated resort opens hopefully before the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in the country.The Caesar’s Entertainment gaming licence is dependent on certain investment conditions being fulfilled and until the South Korean authorities are sure these will be met, the licence remains provisional. A certain amount, believed to be 700 million euros needs to be invested before the operator will get the go ahead to operate the casino. Last year the South Korean government refused to accept bids from the Caesars Entertainment consortium and from another Japanese group due to worries about the financial situations. However this time the Caesars group was the only operator to have an acceptable credit rating and investment fund. The integrated casino resort which will be built in different phases should be operational by 2018. The first phase will contain two hotels along side the casino.