It’s been quite the showdown in South Korea over the final bidding process over the last two casino licenses the country is currently offering. In a decision announced earlier this week, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has narrowed down the potential sites from 16 to just 9.

These licenses could prove critical to areas of South Korea looking for an added financial boost, as they will allow certain developers to build and operate a full casino and resort in the region. South Korea will now be considering all RFP’s (“request for proposals”) from all the remaining sites and venues.

The RFP phase of the process will run through November 27th, at which the ministry’s website has announced they will determine that “approximately two” licensees to be chosen. The RFP terms have strict guidelines as well. For example, the casino floor must account for 5% of the total gross floor area, with the venue itself needing to accommodate for at least 215,278 square feet of space – enough for 1,000 5-Star rated hotel rooms and added retail space for its guests.

Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said: “The government will begin its RFP review in December and ultimately intends to issue two new IR licences. We believe these will likely be the final IR licences to be awarded for the foreseeable future in Korea.”

As previously mentioned, there are nine sites remaining on the shortlist, all of which are located in several different economic zones. These locations include sites such as Incheon, which is located near the biggest international airport in the country, as well as areas in the cities of Busan North Port, Gyeongsangnam-do and Jeollanam-do. It’s important to note that Incheon seems to be the frontrunner for at least one of the licenses according to Union Gaming.

These final nine sites will have to submit their final proposals by the November 27th deadline, with each site required to bring in a minimum investment of more than $840 million (USD), as well as $500 million (USD) in foreign investment capital and solid credit ratings.

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