The chairman and chief executive of Paradise Co Ltd says the Paradise City casino resort at Incheon will be a game-changer for South Korea’s tourism industry.
“This will be the first integrated resort in Northeast Asia and I [think] will change the paradigm of [the] local tourism industry,” Chun Phil-Lip – also known as Phillip Jeon – told Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper.
He added: ““Paradise City will not only improve the competitiveness of [the] local tourism industry but also the competitiveness of Paradise Co itself.”
Paradise City is being developed by Paradise Sega Sammy Co Ltd, a joint venture firm set up by South Korea’s Paradise Co – an operator of foreigner-only casinos in that country – and Tokyo-based pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. The property (pictured in an artist’s rendering) is to launch its first phase on April 20, Sega Sammy said in a March 9 filing.
The March 9 release additionally stated the casino – judged by floor space – would be “one of the largest” in South Korea, with 154 game tables, 281 slot machines, and four installations of electronic games offering an aggregate of 62 seats. The document said the total investment amount for the 333,000-square-metre (3.58 million-sq-foot) site was KRW1.3 trillion (US$1.12 billion).
Mr Chun reportedly told the Korea JoongAng Daily the location of Paradise City was one of the resort’s competitive advantages. The property is close to Seoul’s international airport, offering convenient access to international visitors flying in from several major cities in Northeast Asia.
“There will be many tourists coming from abroad to the resort,” Mr Chun said. “We will have to see how it works out for the next three to four months to see how Paradise City will perform later on.”
Paradise City’s location in the Seoul Metropolitan Area nonetheless ensures the property access to a potential large base of local visitors, added the chairman. Under current local laws, South Korean nationals will only be able to use the non-gaming facilities at Paradise City.
The launch of Paradise City is likely to affect negatively the operating profit of Paradise Co in the short term, but should boost the firm’s revenue and income from 2018 onward, said Seoul-based brokerage Shinhan Investment Corp in a February note.
Brokerage Aegis Capital Corp said in a March 6 note that recent geopolitical tensions between China and South Korea, over deployment of a U.S. missile system in South Korea, could benefit Macau by diverting Chinese tourists away from South Korea.
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Daniel Boone Wayson
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