In South Korea and local casino operator Lotte Tour Development Company Limited has reportedly taken an important step towards being able to bring a gambling element to its new Jeju Dream Tower development.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Seoul-headquartered firm opened the 1,600-room Grand Hyatt hotel within the $1.42 billion property in December and soon hopes to complement this offering by debuting an almost 54,000 sq ft casino featuring a selection of up to 300 slots and 150 gaming tables. However, the source detailed that this plan depends on the operator receiving official government approval to transfer the gambling license for its nearby Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte venue to the 38-story Jeju Dream Tower.
Despite protests from a number of local citizen groups, Lotte Tour Development Company Limited has now reportedly secured a major victory in this process after a committee for the semi-autonomous jurisdiction’s provincial council yesterday voted to approve the envisioned license transfer by a 29-to-six margin with three abstentions. This decision purportedly means that the issue is now set to be subjected to a plenary ballot in advance of being presented to Governor Won Hee-Ryong following discussions with the Jeju Casino Business Supervisory Committee.
Should all of these bodies sign off and GGRAsia reportedly explained that Lotte Tour Development Company Limited would be permitted to open the envisioned foreigner-only casino within its Jeju Dream Tower, which sits on a 75-acre parcel of land located less than two miles from Jeju International Airport. This source purportedly explained that there is still no timeline as to when this authorization may be received but that any opening would be preceded by the closure of the 27-table gambling element within the 500-room Paradise Casino Jeju Lotte.
The tallest building on Jeju Island at just over 554 feet, the five-star Jeju Dream Tower reportedly furthermore offers 14 restaurants and bars in addition to a shopping mall, an exterior pool, a pair of spas and a top-floor skydeck lounge. The Culture, Tourism and Sports Committee of the 43-seat Jeju Provincial Council purportedly consented to the casino license transfer proposal after determining that such an amenity would comply with area employment regulations by having locals constitute at least 80% of its workforce with the vast majority of these being ‘young people.’
Finally, the government committee reportedly declared that Lotte Tour Development Company Limited should be granted the ability to transfer its Jeju casino license after having devised ‘specific solutions’ to deal with a number of potential ‘social side effects’ that have long concerned the local community including crime and housing rights.