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Caesars Entertainment’s Proposed Casino Resort in Korea

Although Caesars Entertainment is a household name to American gamblers, the casino chain has a relatively small presence on the international casino scene. This is because Caesars failed to secure casino licenses when gambling magnates began building new casinos in places like Macau and Hong Kong. In fact, Caesars Entertainment has been outclassed by other Las Vegas-based casino groups that received Macau casino licenses, like Resort World Sentosa and Genting Group.

Casino Resort

Caesars Looking to Expand

In an effort to expand their international profile, Caesars Entertainment recently received approval to build an integrated casino and resort in South Korea. This gambling resort will be located in Incheon.

Caesars Entertainment’s developers were intrigued with Incheon, South Korea for a couple of reasons. First of all, the city is home to one of the busiest international airports in Asia. More importantly, though, is that Korea is a popular vacation destination for China’s affluent upper class. 4.3 million Chinese tourists entered Korea in 2013.

Korea’s tourism experts anticipate that this number could reach 10 million Chinese tourists per year by 2020. Representatives for Caesars Entertainment predict that this boost in tourism will help improve the country’s gambling industry.

Caesars Entertainment in Korea

To earn approval from the Korean government, Caesars Entertainment partnered with the Lippo Group and OUE. The Lippo Group is one of the bigger players in Asian gambling. Lippo Group and Caesars Entertainment put down an initial deposit for their casino-hotel complex, which will be located in Incheon’s tariff-free economic district.

As of 2012, Caesars entertainment was $20 billion in debt. Korean officials were worried that the Las Vegas casino group would not be able to pay for the project, which is why Caesars Entertainment linked up with the Lippo Group and one of Lippo’s subsidiaries for this proposed casino resort.

Caesars Entertainment Facing Opposition

Caesars hopes that this massive casino project will be completed by 2018, when Pyeongchang, Korea will be hosting the Winter Olympics. Caesars Entertainment says that the project will cost around $2.2 billion to complete. The complex will have a large hotel, spacious casino, and a number of convention centers.

Consultants who oppose Caesars Entertainment’s project argue that Korea already has several foreign-owned casinos. Steve Park, a managing director at Kore Company, does not believe that this integrated-resort will compel more Chinese gamblers to visit Korea.