Asia is becoming an increasingly crowded gambling scene that has been scrambling to attract wealthy Chinese gamblers. Unlike Macau and Singapore, that specifically target China’s richest high rollers, South Korea, who have been granted approval from a consortium of investors to build integrated resorts and casinos on Yeongjong island, will be targeting China’s less affluent gamblers.

Paradise City, the first fully-fledged integrated casino resort in the Incheon Free Economic Zone on Yeongjong island cost $805m and opened its doors on April 2017. Across 330,000 square metres, the luxury resort boasts a range of entertainment, including a casino that features table games and slots.

South Korea intends on continuing the trend of building casinos for Chinese tourists who can't afford to gamble in Macau anymore. As such, William Shen, senior vice president and managing director of Caesars Korea and Japan has hinted that Caesars Korea Casino Resort, the company's first venture in the East Asian gaming market, is set for completion in early 2021.

On the foreign-only casino, Shen has said that “Our investment is … right-sized for the type of opportunity that is available to us as a foreigner-only casino”. Kangwon Land is the only one open to natives. Caesars Korea will be located in close proximity to Incheon Airport, one of the busiest transit points in Asia and will be joining the likes of Paradise City and other projects in the pipeline.

Other projects on Yeongjong Island include a $4 billion real estate investment from Chinese real estate investment firm LongRunn International Group to build “Diamond City” on the 19 acres of land it acquired opposite Seoul-Incheon International Airport. Connecticut’s Mohegan tribal gaming operator are also in the development of a project named “Inspire”.

Las Vegas
Photo by Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash

Moreover, in what will be the fifth casino project in Entertainment City, the Philippines’ smaller version of the Las Vegas strip,  the countries’ gaming regulator has granted Hong Kong’s Landing International Development Ltd a license to build a $1.5bn integrated casino project in Manila. Entertainment City is the Philippines’ answer to the gaming hubs of Macau and Singapore.

Speaking of which, in a $9bn investment, Singapore’s two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, will be expanded to include Minion Park and Super Nintendo World in ongoing efforts to rejuvenate tourism offerings.

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