The Chinese investment holding company Landing International, known to be the owner of Jeju Shinhwa World integrated casino resort in South Korea currently under construction, announced its fears triggered by the political conflict between South Korea and the People’s Republic of China. Only a month before the debut of its serviced flat facility, Beijing prohibited mainland tourist groups to visit South Korea. Seoul plans to deploy the U.S.-developed anti-ballistic missile system on South Korean soil seems to have stirred anxiety in South Korea’s business community, which led to the aforementioned restriction. Consequently, Developer Landing voiced concerns regarding the influence of the tourist ban on the casino profitability.
In March this year, Landing celebrated the debut of its 342 serviced flats as part of the US$2. 6 billion project. In fact, the operator decided to launch the casino venture in the Asia-Pacific region in the wake of the heated relations between the two current rivalries as far back as 2013. But this year, the things changed dramatically, which led once again to the freeze in the relations between the two powerful countries.
Beijing Ban Reflects on South Korea Gambling Operations
The Chief operating Officer of Landing International Jay Lee Poh-yee told the reporters from the local media South China Morning Post that the recently-opened Shinhwa theme park has already experienced a slight decline due to the prohibition, but the company hopes that this will be compensated by the domestic demand as Jeju Shinhwa World will be South Korea’s second integrated resort. Mr. Lee added that the number of theme parks across the region is far from enough and that is the silver lining in the cloud. Among all other things, the park is expected to give a strong boost to Jeju’s tourism sector, projected to attract 15 million foreign visitors by 2018. It is important to note that the operator is to relocate its casino to its Shinhwa World Marriott Hotel slated to open doors by the end of this year.
Mr. Lee explained that the company expects equal profitability of its gambling and non-gambling activities. But the ban on Chinese tourists may damage the company’s casino operations as all the casinos based in South Korea are not allowed to accept locals to their gaming floors. Nevertheless, Mr. Lee shared that the company is to target a number of other countries’ markets, including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South-East Asia.
The opening of Shinhwa theme park, which took place this Saturday, attracted the attention of the attendees with an interesting and entertaining program. The entire full-fledged complex is expected to be completed in 2019. Currently, the operator is to roll out its second phase of the project, which is also the final stage of the Landing resort’s construction. The complex is to attract casino players of all calibres, but it is also to feature non-gambling offerings, including premises designed for business purposes.