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LVS Willing To Make Conditional Investment In Busan, South Korea

las vegas sandsInternational casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. has expressed interest in investing 5 to 12 trillion won ($4.5 billion to $10.8 billion) to develop a casino resort in South Korean port city of Busan, provided the investment conditions are right.

George Tanasijevich, CEO of Marina Bay Sands, a Singaporean casino owned by Las Vegas Sands made this assertion in a recent media interview.

Tanasijevich also handles the group’s global development initiatives. Las Vegas Sands currently has casinos in Macau, Singapore, and the United States.

In a statement, Tanasijevich said

The best location for Sands Group to invest in is Busan. We are willing to move in as soon as investment conditions are met. The city has an unlimited growth potential for its location lying between Japan and China, but is now suffering in obscurity due to lack of enough five-star hotels and exhibition and convention venues.

He has earlier said that the company will take every measure to convince the Korean government and the people of the numerous benefits from a casino resort. Tanasijevich highlighted that the Las Vegas Sands had been interested in building a presence in Asian markets which have a strong potential for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) for the last 8 years. He observed that Busan was of high interest because of availability of international airports, MICE facilities, hotels and retail stores.

He indicated that the company’s investments into the city could range between 5 trillion won and 12 trillion won. Tanasijevich said that Las Vegas Sands could raise the profile of the city

and attract more foreign visitors by bringing in large investors to the city’s projects, just like the company did for Singapore.

According to Tanasijevich, opposition to allowing locals to enter the casino could be tackled with restrictions. Citing the company’s experience in Singapore, he said that there had been dissenting groups in Singapore as well but the company addressed those concerns by coming up with a plan to charge Singaporeans for entry, set at around 100 Singaporean dollars (US$74). He said that right now only 20 percent of Singaporeans entering the casino actually play in the casino.

Tanasijevich pointed out the results of a recent survey carried out in Korea that showed that 65 percent of respondents are not opposed to developing casinos in the country provided there are strict restrictions on locals gambling, saying that Sands’ approach could be the most suitable.

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