Korean gov't green lights foreigner-only casino by Lippo & Caesars consortiumUpdated: 2014-03-19 06:38:48 (KST)
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said at a press briefing Tuesday, that it has granted approval to the Indonesian-Chinese enterprise Lippo Group and U.S.-based Caesars Entertainment to open the casino, which will be for foreigners only.
The casino will be located some 50 kilometers west of Seoul on Yeongjong-do Island, which is part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone and the location of Incheon International Airport.
The approval is for the first phase of the consortium's plan to develop a high-end resort.
Phase one will see construction of two hotels, serviced residences and a convention center for an estimated cost of roughly 700-million U.S. dollars and completion is expected in 2018.
The entire development is expected to cost over two billion U.S. dollars.. and will be completed by 2023.
The Lippo-and-Caesars consortium first submitted the proposal to develop the casino resort last year, but the proposal was rejected on the grounds that the plan did not fulfill certain credit-rating qualifications.
The consortium won approval for the plan after enlarging the size of the investment and submitting suitable credit-rating assessments.
"The approval is only valid when the joint venture successfully implements certain conditions, such as undergoing an annual audit. This decision was made after a thorough evaluation by related-ministries, with the goal of boosting the nation's tourism industry."
The government expects the casino to boost employment and bring in tax revenue, as well as strengthen the competitiveness of the domestic casino industry.
It will be the 17th casino in Korea, 16 of which are exclusively for foreigners.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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