Thursday saw the opening of Paradise Sega Sammy’s Paradise City in Yeongjongdo, South Korea in the location of the former Paradise Incheon Casino which was mostly absorbed into the new development.

The resort bills itself as “K-Style” referring to Korea and as an Art-Tainment center, alluding to its integrated resort status and being much more than a casino. Local Korean denizens are not allowed to gamble anywhere in the country except Kangwon Land, far from any of the country’s population centers.

South Korea prides itself on its pop culture which has spread to all corners of the world through such vehicles as K-

“Paradise City has been the best challenge for our company as the first mover of the tourism industry. We’ll make sure the resort complex becomes a key destination of ‘Hallyu’ for everyone in the world to enjoy, which we hope will serve to upgrade the national pride in the end,” Paradise Group chairman Jeon Phillip said at a media briefing attended by Yonhap News.

“Hallyu” refers to the spread of Korean pop culture, or “K-Pop”.

The resort cost some US$1.1 billion to construct and is a joint venture of South Korea’s Paradise Co. and Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings operating as Paradise Sega Sammy. The resort is being built and opened in Phases. Completion of Phase I is expected before 2019.

Even though Koreans without foreign passports are not allowed to gamble in their own country, Paradise Sega Sammy is not the only concern betting big on the integrated resort elements as well as the possibility of attracting gamblers from across Asia.

Mohegan Sun has partnered with KCC Corp to construct an integrated resort in the same area but nearer and connected to the Incheon International Airport. That resort will also open in phases with Phase I focused on entertainment. Eventually, the US$1.21 billion resort will host nearly a quarter million square feet of gaming space with a total price tag as high as US$% billion.

Caesars Entertainment was the first to land a license, and although there is still chatter about them pursuing a casino there, they’ll have to make a go of it with their current partner or recruit another as real estate developer Lippo Limited announced in 2016 they were withdrawing from the partnership while Caesars was in the midst of a restructuring fight in U.S. bankruptcy court. Lippo severed their participation in the project completely last month leaving China’s Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited and Caesar to carry the ball if they choose.