In South Korea, a senior official from the Incheon Free Economic Zone has reportedly announced that he hopes the region will someday host a “cluster” of up to seven integrated casino resorts.
Nicholas Kim works as the project manager for IFEZ’s service industry sector, according to a report by GGRAcia, and made the announcement in an interview at the G2E Asia@ Philippines exhibition in Manila last week.
The official is already Japanese Pachinko conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings and Seoul-listed Farah in an effort to bring ‘more diverse experiences and concepts’ to the tax zone where IFEZ’s efforts are lowIt is reported that the focus is centered on Yeongjongdo Island, the home of the $1.7 billion Paradise City Integrated Casino Resort, from Is Company Limited.
GGRASIA reports that Yeongjongdo is also the location of Incheon International Airport, South Korea’s main aviation hub, and expects to welcome the $1.6 billion project inspiration development from Mohigan Gaming and Entertainment by the end of 2022. The island is largely made up of landfills, and could even become home to a $700 million Caesars casino from Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment.
Along with all of this, GGRASIA reported that IFEZ has further authorized Philippine company Bloomberry Resorts Corporation to build Solaire Ocean Resorts, which does not play games near Muuido Island.
But Kim reportedly declared that IFEZ is trying to create up to 20,000 additional jobs by attracting two or three more plans, including hotels, conference spaces, entertainment facilities and retail areas, and said officials are also planning a total investment of $10 billion in Yeongjong Island and will appeal to companies that missed the chance to secure one of the three upcoming Japanese casino licenses.
Kim reportedly told sources that Japan believes the $10 billion minimum investment clause attached to each of the three licenses in neighboring countries could lead international operators to turn elsewhere along with Incheon and that “probably Vladivostok” would be the only viable alternative.
“Also, the IFEZ will ensure that investors in integrated casino resorts are properly licensed by our government at all levels. We can waive local taxes, tariffs, local acquisition taxes and property taxes. It’s already in our benefit package, which is set out in law.”
According to reports, while South Korea and Japan have been “similarly affected” by the recent slump in the number of Chinese overseas tourists, Kim said investing $600 million in Yeongjongdo would mean lower gambling for casino operators compared to “investing $10 billion in Japanese projects.”
“That’s why IFEZ’s model places a big emphasis on gaming and non-gaming balance. The IFEZ model may be less profitable, but it also has less risk than the Japanese model.” 슬롯머신