Sands Continues to Eye $10 Billion Casino in South Korea
Sands isn’t giving up in it’s plight to allow access to South Korean locals in their latest casino resort. Per reports, Las Vegas Sands continues to move ahead with a $10 billion casino despite South Korea standing firm in its decision to not allow local civilians enter and gamble in the resort.
Sands is Determined
Las Vegas Sands Corp’s managing director of global development, George Tanasijevich, told reporters recently in Singapore that the resort is still going to be built and the U.S. casino operator will work with the South Korean government and do “whatever it takes” to get South Korean natives in their casinos.
Tanasijevich confirmed Sands’ patience and determination:
We understand this is an important decisions for the Korean government and people. We are patient and the pace of this doesn’t determine our interest level.”
Tanasijevich also referred to the South Korean market as “very strong” and will push forward despite numerous previous attempts being “thwarted” by the South Korean government.
It’s a big gamble, as there are already 17 casino resorts in South Korea, and all of them are “tourist only” locations. The only spot South Korean locals are legally allowed to gamble at is Kangwon Land. The location of the resort forces locals to make the trip out to the Kangwon province or even leave the country in order to gamble legally.
The South Korean government’s resistance to a wide open casino resort is oddly enough the huge draw, as it leaves an untapped market for Sands and other resorts to target. While there is risk with the move, there is also a massive potential reward.
The good news is there are already casinos for foreign players to enjoy and the needle seems to be working towards locals being allowed to play in the not too distant future, as well.
The first step will be for Sands to pass a new legislation to even begin building in Kangwon, as the South Korean government has yet to show a “clear stance”. That stance has naturally been impacted by the negative perception of gambling by the South Korean public, which, by all accounts, could slowly be softening.
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