New bidding process for foreigner only casinos

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in South Korea has said that it will release a comprehensive plan to revise current regulations concerning the establishment and operation of casinos on 11 October.  The foreigner-only casinos are to be set up in Free Economic Zones (FEZs) across the country.  

As part of the revised regulations, a new bidding process for operators will be outlined which will accept proposals only from “qualified” operators.  Two previous bids by Japan’s Universal Entertainment and LOCZ, a joint venture between Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. and Indonesia’s Lippo Group Ltd., were rejected allegedly due to a failure to provide adequate financing plans.  LOCZ has said that it would definitely look in to reapplying should the opportunity present itself.

The government is investing 82 trillion won (US$72 million) in the FEZs which aim to attract foreign investment, as well as local Korean firms, through attractive tax and regulatory concessions.  The plan is to allow the establishment of integrated resorts including casinos within the FEZs.