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NEWS 20 April 2017
Incheon casino opens in South Korea amidst diplomatic row
By Robert Simmons
The Paradise City casino resort has today opened its doors in Incheon, South Korea, near to Seoul’s main air hub, Incheon International Airport.

It marks the conclusion of the first phase in the casino development and comprises a 711 room hotel with entertainment facilities including restaurants and bars, health and beauty facilities and play areas for children.

The casino development includes 154 game tables, 281 slot machines and four electronic game installations.

The project is a partnership between Tokyo based Sega Sammy Holdings Inc and South Korea’s Paradise Co Ltd which currently operates five foreigner only casinos all across South Korea.

Of the country’s 17 casinos, only one, the remotely located Kangwon Land, is allowed to accommodate South Korean nationals.

A second phase of the development slated for opening in the first half of 2018 will include a boutique hotel and further entertainment facilities.

Overall cost of the 3.58 million-sq-foot site currently stands at KRW1.3 trillion (US$1.12 billion).

Paradise Co Chief Executive Philip Jeon said today: “This will be the first integrated resort in Northeast Asia and I think it will change the paradigm of the local tourism industry.”

South Korea’s tourism industry is currently dealing with the effects of a political row between Beijing and Seoul over the positioning of a US-supplied anti-missile system, which is designed to serve as a check against North Korea’s ballistic missile project.

Chinese visitors to South Korea represented nearly 8m (47%) of the countries 17.2m overseas visitors in 2016 according to figures published by the Korea Tourism Organisation.

Paradise Co told Reuters in a statement ahead of the opening that “There are concerns about the Chinese market” but they “don’t expect the missile issue to continue in the long term”.

RELATED TAGS: Land-Based | Casino | Industry
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