Caesars from Korea Casino, ex-partner R&F asks a 3 year delay
The US-based casino brand Caesars Entertainment has sold its entire stake in a proposed casino program for Incheon, South Korea, to its former partner, Hong Kong-listed Guangzhou R & F Properties Co. Ltd. The project was called “Caesars Korea Resort Complex” and was intended to have a casino only for foreigners.
The disposal took place at the end of January, confirms GGRAsia, an official with the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA), the public body that monitors the site. The official, who did not want to be named, could not clarify which consideration might have been involved in the disposal.
The scheme (shown in an artist's illustration), also known as the Midan City Resort Complex, is now being promoted by an organization called R&F Korea (RFKR). Previously, a company called RFCZ Korea, which was a 50:50 joint venture between what was then Caesars Entertainment Corp and China's Guangzhou R&F, sponsored the program.
At the beginning of February this year, the RFKR company officially submitted an application to the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to postpone the opening of the first phase of the program from March 17, 2021 to the “March 2024” Ministry. Representatives confirmed to GGRAsia on Thursday .
The ministry would ask RFKR to find a new partner. One with experience in casino operations, an IFEZA official said separately in comments on GGRAsia on Thursday.
The official expected the ministry to provide a response before April regarding RFKR's request to postpone the opening of the program for three years.
Caesars Entertainment Corp was acquired by US regional casino operator Eldorado Resorts Inc, valued at $ 17 billion Completed last Julywith the merged company renamed Caesars Entertainment Inc with a US listing under that name.
In June 2019, shortly after the merger plan was announced, an Eldorado Resorts executive announced Caesars' ambitions for operations in Asia that the opportunity must exist "Amazing for us to run in that direction".
Caesars Entertainment Corp announced this in August 2019 drop his pursuit a Japan Casino license.
The South Korea program is located near the state capital Seoul in Incheon, which is the location of the country's main international air transport hub. The project was described by the original promoters as a multi-phase scheme.
A website for Caesars Korea – now offline but previously checked by GGRAsia – had announced that the program would include a casino for foreigners only, a hotel and serviced apartments, which offer a total of more than 720 rooms, suites and villas. The total investment was estimated at KRW 850 billion (USD 767.5 million). The gross floor area was estimated at 172,249 square meters (1.85 million square feet).
According to local news agencies, the then Caesars Korea and Guangzhou R & F had previously had long discussions about funding the project. The construction work was stopped in February 2020. The first phase was around 25 percent completed, an IFEZA official confirmed to GGRAsia on Thursday.
Another IFEZA official had stated – in response to a GGRAsia investigation late last year – that Caesars Entertainment and Guangzhou R&F had doubts about the feasibility of previous business projections for the project following the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.