Las Vegas Sands Corporation is reportedly continuing with a plan to build a version of its Marina Bay Sands resort casino in South Korea and has sent representatives to Busan in order to investigate possible sites for the envisioned development.
According to a report from The Korea Economic Daily, the Las Vegas-based casino operator previously announced that it was prepared to spend $4.2 billion to $8.5 billion in order to construct a large-scale resort complex in Seoul or the southern city of Busan. But, this plan was soon shelved after it failed to gain government consent that would have seen locals permitted to gamble alongside foreign tourists.
South Korea is home to 17 casinos bringing in total annual revenues of around $2.5 billion but citizens are only allowed to gamble at the Kangwon Land Casino And Hotel in the remote Gangwon Province. However, Las Vegas Sands Corporation is now eager to see the Asian nation impose a system similar to that operated by Singapore in which citizens and permanent residents can obtain a day pass to gamble by paying a fee of $73.50 or play for a full year for $1,476.
In March, George Tanasijevich, Global Development Managing Director for Las Vegas Sands Corporation, told The Korea Times that his firm was prepared to offer “whatever it takes” in order to bring a local-friendly resort casino to South Korea.
“Korea is a top destination for us,” Tanasijevich, who also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Marina Bay Sands, told the newspaper. “We believe so strongly. We proposed some ideas for consideration so that people would understand what level of interest we have and how committed we are to investing in Korea. But as I say, this is a process that takes time so that you, the Korean people and Korean government, can make the right decision on it.”
During their visit on June 8, the representatives from Las Vegas Sands Corporation purportedly scouted possible sites for the wished-for resort casino near Busan’s North Port area and additionally held an investment strategy meeting with local government officials.