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New South Korean Casino Celebrates Formal Opening On Jeju Island

A new gaming facility Gongzi Jeju Casino was formally launched on July 16 in the South Korean island of Jeju.

The casino located within the Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel complex had been open since April 28 as a part of a soft launch after going through an extensive renovation. The property was earlier known as the Ramada Plaza Jeju Casino.

The casino is yet another foreigner-only casino in South Korea and is spread over 40,000 square feet. Its gambling floor has around 45 gaming tables with 24 slot machines.

The gala celebrations for the opening saw a range of attractions including a laser show, a lion dance and a show by the popular K-pop singers.

GONGZI JEJU 濟州皇爵

In a statement Lysa Evans, chief operating officer of Gongzi Jeju said

We have brought to Jeju all the latest gaming technologies and gaming integrity parallel to Macau, Singapore and other world class gaming destinations. [The casino] owner’s vision was to create a gaming experience in a location that was accessible, with fantastic natural scenery and relaxing entertainment

A press release issued by the operators highlighted the proximity of the casino to the Jeju International airport and its shipping docks. The casino has been developed and financed by the Korean Teachers’ Credit Union with Ramada acting as a franchisee. Ramada is a hotel chain brand operated by global hotel group Wyndham Worldwide Corp. Spread over 10 levels, the Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel opened in July 2003 and boasts of 400 hotel rooms.

Gongzi Jeju will be South Korea’s 19th casino. Local residents are allowed access to only one casino and that is the Kangwon Land casino located in an upland province. Jeju Island is a semi-autonomous prime tourist destination with a number of casino properties being developed with foreigners-only access. The most recent casino to open was Jeju Shinhwa World developed by a Chinese firm Landing International Development Ltd. The island typically attracts a large number of visitors from China. Jeju Tourism Organization data shows that China accounted for 84 percent of international tourists visiting the island.

However the recent ban imposed by China on travel to South Korea due to diplomatic hostilities has sharply affected visitations. The dispute has its origins in South Korea allowing the United States to install an anti-missile missile system in its waters. Chinese tourists to Jeju Island dropped down by 56.2 percent year on year in March 2017, dropping further to 89 percent by June-end. Though South Korean casino operators are hoping for a relaxation of the ban there are no signs of China relenting.


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