Nine sites have been chosen to proceed to the next level of the bidding process for the remaining two licences to develop and run an integrated casino and resort in South Korea.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on Wednesday that it will accept requests for proposal (RFP) for nine sites including Ung-dong in Jinhae Free Economic Zone of Gyeongsangnam-do, a redevelopment area in Busan North Port, Yeosu Gyeongdo Tourism Complex in Jeollanam and six sites in the free economic zone within Incheon.
The ministry received 34 requests for concept from Feb. 27 to June 30 period. The eager wannabes are said to include Las Vegas Sands, Genting group, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Grand Korea Leisure, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Cambodia’s NagaCorp, leading junket operator SunCity Group, Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun, Saipan’s Imperial Pacific International Holdings and Bill Weidner’s Global Gaming Asset Management.
The nine sites have until Nov. 27 to submit their respective proposals, which require a minimum investment of more than 1 trillion won ($847.46m), foreign investment of more than $500m (590 billion won), and certain levels of credit ratings in order to confirm competitive investment demands.
After reviewing the RFPs, which will begin in December, the final number of licensees will be decided. Union Gaming analysts said in a note that the government intends to issue two casino licenses and will “likely be the final IR licenses to be awarded for the foreseeable future in Korea.”
“Given our view that Incheon is the preferred national IR area, we would expect both new IRs to be issued for this area.” wrote Union Gaming.