In South Korea and the Chinese firm behind the plan to bring an $800 million integrated casino resort to a 1,087-acre site near the port city of Incheon has reportedly secured additional funding worth in the region of $16.5 million.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Hong Kong-listed Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited is now more than likely to use the injection from an unidentified source to help kick-start construction on the giant gambling-friendly development following a 17-month delay caused largely by the coronavirus pandemic.
Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited reportedly partnered with American casino operator Caesars Entertainment Incorporated some seven years ago in hopes of being able to open the 1.85 million sq ft Caesars Korea project by the end of last March. However, the source detailed that the future of the envisioned venue to be situated adjacent to Incheon International Airport was thrown into doubt a year ago after this latter firm abandoned the entire scheme following its own $17.3 billion merger with smaller compatriot Eldorado Resorts Incorporated.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited nevertheless remained committed to the endeavor, which has since been rechristened as Midan City Resort Complex, and paid Caesars Entertainment Incorporated an undisclosed amount of cash in February for its former partner’s 50% stake in the entire project. The Chinese firm then purportedly applied to the host country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for a three-year extension that would have given it until the spring of 2024 to complete work on the Yeongjong Island complex.
In the end and the South Korean government only reportedly granted the company a one-year postponement, which means that the development featuring a 1,250-room hotel and casino to offer around 700 slots and approximately 150 gaming tables may lose its license altogether if it is now not open by the end of next March. This target is purportedly all the more ominous as no construction has taken place since February of 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the failure of a major contractor to cover about $27 million in costs.
A representative from the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority reportedly told Inside Asian Gaming that ‘there is a high possibility’ that Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited will now utilize the new cash injection ‘as an expense to solve the problem of established funds’ with the overdrawn contractor. The official purportedly went on to declare that their office now believes work will once again begin from October although only about 25% of the project has so far been completed.