Kangwon Land Inc. to Invest US$1.85 bln in Expansion of Kangwon Land Casino & Hotel

Home » Kangwon Land Inc. to Invest US$1.85 bln in Expansion of Kangwon Land Casino & Hotel

Kangwon Land Inc., the company behind Kangwon Land Casino, the single resort venue in South Korea where is possible for local citizens to enter and gamble, has officially revealed a fresh phase, aka new expansion project worth KRW2.5 trillion, which is approximately US$1.85 bln, for a casino-resort.

New expansion project:

This new expansion is expected to triple the dimensions of the property’s casino space by 2032. In addition, this information was verified on April 2 by the company’s representative in a reply to a telephone inquiry by GGRAsia.

Relatedly, in the firm’s presentation released on April 2 and contemplated by GGRAsia, the fresh phase is said to have the working title of “K-HIT Project 1.0“. As for the meaning of the title, “K” means Korean, “H” means High1 Resort, which is the title of the whole compound at Kangwon Land, “I” means integrated and “T” means tourism.

Under the plan, the gaming space of the resort would span 532,814 sq. feet, which is roughly 49,500 square meters, as opposed to the 15,486 square meters, which is the current situation. Also, out of the total sum planned to be spent on the fresh expansion project, an overall of KRW1.8 trillion would be spent on the said gaming space.

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Strengthening global competitiveness:

Since Kangwon Land, the only casino accessible to locals in the entire country, as mentioned above, is located in a rural mountainous region located 3 hours east of Seoul, its promoters recently revealed intentions to extend the marketing efforts and appeal of the venue to attract the additional number of overseas players.

In this regard, Choi Cheol-Gyu, the interim CEO of the Kangwon Land, said in the presentation that the investment in the gaming space represents “addressing the current chronic shortage of [player] seats in the venue.” Additionally, South Korean and overseas media have often reported that demand from local clients is so high that potential players frequently have to wait in line to officially register for admission.

Also in his presentation, Mr Choi noted that he expects a possible rival from 1st integrated resort (IR) with a casino in Japan, MGM Osaka, although it’s officially scheduled to open in 2030. On that note, Mr Choi said: “Since Osaka’s integrated resort in Japan – just 90 minutes away [by air] from South Korea – will open in the future, Kangwon Land’s casino-for-locals monopoly status has effectively broken, therefore, we’d like to invest in a concentrated manner to strengthen [our] global competitiveness.”

Temporary casino venue:

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He added that since the facility extension could take 7 to 8 years, the firm would establish an interim casino of 3,960 square meters close to the current property within 2 to 3 years at a price of KRW80 bln, according to the presentation.

As for the business goals related to the extension, they involve the renovation of the existing VIP casino establishments by 2027 and the increase of maximum wagering limit of Kangwon Land, which is now KRW300,000. Additionally, the fresh phase also involves a KRW270 bln hotel extension plan that will be financed from a total of KRW2.5 trillion, other establishments which price is KRW280 bln and a fresh villa that includes a swimming pool which costs KRW30 bln in funding.

Furthermore, the said presentation highlighted some of the future goals of Kangwon Land Inc.. Those goals involved:

  • recruitment of 3,400 employees
  • raising the amount of non-casino sales compared to casino sales (as a percentage of total sales) from 13% currently to 30%
  • raising the number of overseas visitors by 10 times
  • increasing the yearly number of visits to the resort from the current 6.8m to 12m
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However, the presentation didn’t specify the current yearly number of foreign tourists to the facility, according to GGRAsia.

During the 4Q23, Kangwon Land saw a total number of 569,957 visitors. Of that number, there were only 6,138 foreign visitors, that is, just below 1.1% of the overall number, according to the local media.

For the entire previous year, the net profit of Kangwon Land Inc. assigned to owners was KRW345.15 bln, an increase of 198.5% from 2022, on sales that increased by 9.3% year-over-year, to slightly less than KRW1.39 trillion.

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