A Chinese developer is teaming up with the company behind one of Singapore’s Sentosa casinos to invest US$2.2 billion in a new gambling-centred project in South Korea, the companies announced this week.
The joint venture between Genting Singapore Plc and Landing International Development Ltd. would create the Resorts World Jeju – the largest destination on South Korea’s Jeju Island, which is already popular with wealthy mainland tourists.
Along with the gaming that Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa project is famous for in Singapore, the Jeju Island resort would feature luxury hotels, a shopping centre, a theme park, and of course, vacation homes for sale. Chinese state-owned real estate giant Greenland Group had already announced its own US$1 billion resort project in Jeju Island in December of last year.
Following the Sentosa Model
According to a statement from Genting, Resorts World Jeju will be modeled after Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore’s two gambling resorts. In addition to the Singapore resort, Genting also operates casinos in Australia, the Bahamas, Malaysia, the Philippines and Britain.
The 800-table Jeju casino, which would include 200-tables reserved for high-stakes gamblers, would be open only to non-Korean nationals, Yang Zhihui, chairman of the Landing International, said in a statement to the media this week.
Genting and Landing International will be developing the 230 hectare project as a 50-50 joint venture.
Landing International which raised HK$1 billion through a share sale last month, owned by Yang Zhihui, who is also the controlling shareholder in real estate developer Anhui Landing Holding Group.
In his statement to the press this week, Yang said he expects the joint venture to raise RMB 5 billion yuan (US$825 million) from the sale of residential units in the project by the end of this year. There is not yet a clear date for construction to commence, and the project has yet to gain government approval to begin building.
Chinese Tourists Now #1
Chinese tourists are already the primary source of revenue for casinos in Macau, which took in more than $45 billion from gambling during 2013, and Korea is looking to enjoy some of these same benefits.
Thanks in part to special visa exemptions for Jeju Island which allow mainlanders to visit with just a passport, China became South Korea’s leading source of tourists last year, surpassing Japan for the first time. According to South Korean government figures, 4.05 million Chinese visited Korea from January through the end of November 2013, up 43 per cent from the 2.83 million recorded for all of 2012.