The Genting brand is set to enter South Korea’s gaming market next year via a partnership between Genting Hong Kong Ltd and mainland China real estate developer Landing International Development Ltd. The two Hong Kong-listed companies will establish a 50-50 joint venture to operate an existing foreigners-only casino in Jeju Island. The property is already controlled by Landing International.
Genting Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd and a joint venture investor in the Resorts World Manila casino complex in the Philippines, will invest KRW130 billion (US$117 million) in the project, Landing International announced on Wednesday. “The transaction will lead to the introduction of the first world-class casino brand to Jeju, marking a key milestone in the tourism industry,” the firm added.
The casino is located in Hyatt Regency Jeju hotel. It is now under renovation and is forecast to reopen in January 2015, with around 30 gaming tables and 16 slot machines, Landing International stated.
This is not the first casino project for Jeju co-sponsored by the firm and Genting Bhd. Earlier this year, Landing International and Genting Singapore Plc announced a joint venture to develop a casino resort in Jeju Island featuring gaming facilities, hotels, a shopping mall, a theme park, villas and apartments. The U.S.$2.2 billion development is scheduled to open progressively from 2017.
Genting Singapore, a subsidiary of Genting Bhd, operates Resorts World Sentosa, one of the two casino properties in Singapore. The other is Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Marina Bay Sands.
The Genting group also operates gaming facilities in Malaysia, Europe and the United States.
“Leveraging Genting group’s international expertise in world-class resort operation, the joint venture will be able to tap on a reliable and reputable platform for the development of Jeju’s tourism industry,” Landing International said in Wednesday’s statement.
The province, one of the major touristic destinations in South Korea, has eight casinos in operation. All are only for holders of a foreign passport.
South Korea bars its citizens from gambling in casinos except at Kangwon Land, a difficult-to-access location 150 kilometres (93 miles) southeast of Seoul in Kangwon Province.
“We are always excited about the enormous potential of [the] Korea gaming market,” Yang Zhihui, chairman of Landing International, was quoted as saying.
He added: “Given its geographical proximity to China and Japan, it has already become the third largest gaming market in Asia with its 40 years of gaming history. We are particularly bullish on the development of Jeju, the largest island of Korea.”
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