The promoter of the Jeju Dream Tower venue (pictured in an artist’s rendering), a new resort with foreigner-only casino in South Korea, is planning to launch the project in “early fall” this year. So said Lawrence Teo, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the promoter firm Lotte Tour Development Co Ltd, by email in response to our enquiry
Jeju Dream Tower is downtown in Jeju city, the principal city of Jeju island. The latter is a semi-autonomous jurisdiction off the coast of South Korea, and in normal times is a popular holiday destination for mainland Chinese and other overseas tourists.
In response to a question from GGRAsia about whether the completion and opening dates of Jeju Dream Tower had been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Teo responded: “Construction will be completed by end of June 2020”.
In the same emailed update, the Lotte Tour executive also noted that his company had recently secured a loan of KRW650 billion (US$526.3 million) from Shinhan Financial Investment and Korean Investment Securities, towards funding the completion Jeju Dream Tower construction and the venue’s eventual launch.
The building of Jeju Dream Tower began in May 2016. Its 38 floors make it the tallest building in Jeju. The complex is – according to previous announcements by the promoter – to house a Grand Hyatt-branded hotel as well as a casino and other leisure facilities.
Jeju’s gaming industry oversight body, Casino Policy Division, confirmed in January to GGRAsia that the Jeju Dream Tower scheme had to be evaluated by local authorities regarding its social impact on the host community. It said the evaluation was legally required in cases where an existing Jeju casino operator wished to expand, by more than two times, its gaming-operations capacity locally.
In July 2018, Lotte Tour Development Co Ltd, the Lotte unit involved in Jeju Dream Tower, said it might apply to transfer the rights of another Jeju venue’s gaming licence to Jeju Dream Tower. At the time, Lotte Tour had announced a deal to acquire the entire capital of Paradise Jeju Lotte Casino – a venue operated by South Korean gaming operator Paradise Co Ltd. The casino is inside the Lotte Hotel Jeju, tourist accommodation operated by Lotte Hotels and Resorts.
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