South Korea’s gambling industry is growing at a rapid pace and gambling establishments are always on the lookout for prime real estate to expand their casino offerings. The Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd, a casino operator in South Korea, recently announced that it had entered into an agreement with the Incheon International Airport Corp that will allow Grand Korea to use land near South Korea’s main international airport to construct its proposed “Yeongjongdo Casino Resort”.
South Korea currently has a total of 17 casinos and locals are allowed to gamble at only one of these casinos. The remaining casinos cater exclusively to foreigners and the vast majority of these foreigners fly into South Korea. Grand Korea is a state owned and run casino operator that caters exclusively to foreigners while the Incheon International Airport is one of the biggest transport hubs in Asia and has more than 45 million passengers passing through each year.
The fact that Grand Korea managed to ink out a deal that permits the “Yeongjongdo Casino Resort” to be built next to the airport would put the casino right in the center of foreign tourists and emphasize why most real estate analysts believe that ‘location is everything’.
Grand Korea confirmed that it had conducted a detailed feasibility study before entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Incheon International Airport Corp. Grand Korea has also submitted business and construction plans for its “Yeongjongdo Casino Resort” but is yet to make those plans public. The filing was completed at the Korea Exchange and Grand Korea has a six month time frame to finalize on all plans.
Grand Korea has currently engaged the services of the Korea Exchange Bank who will serve as the company’s financial advisor and be responsible for promoting the casino project and raising funds for the construction of the casino resort.
The South Korean gambling industry has attracted a lot of attention from foreign enterprising over the past 24 months. American tribal casino operator Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, also known as the Mohegan Sun, had also expressed interest in Incheon International Airport Corp during April 2015 as the casino operator had plans to open a new casino in South Korea and turn it into the “first private jet terminal in the world connected to [an] integrated casino resort”.
There were also reports in April that the Mohegan Sun had expressed interest to form a partnership with Grand Korea to construct a new South Korean casino resort but both companies denied those rumours.