South Korea Invests $1.85M in Kangwon Land to Ensure Its Competitiveness

South Korea’s government has unveiled a massive expansion of its Kangwon Land casino resort. The state-owned property will be remodeled to triple the area of its casino floor, allowing it to welcome more guests.

The Kangwon Land gaming area, which covers 167,000 square feet currently, will be expanded to cover approximately 533,000 square feet. In addition to that, the $1.85 billion expansion will see a new hotel and a new convention space constructed, allowing Kangwon Land to accommodate more visitors and host international gatherings.

The expansion will also include the creation of a new wellness center in the nearby forest, as well as the launch of new local attractions.

The expansion comes as more Asian countries rise to challenge South Korea’s casino industry. Kangwon Land and the country’s foreigner-only casinos enjoyed a period of calm during the temporary decline of Macau gaming and the crackdown on the special administrative region’s junket operators. However, Japan’s upcoming resort and Thailand’s desire to launch casino gaming are likely to cause fiercer competition.

South Korea Is Wary of Japan’s Upcoming Integrated Resort

Situated in its namesake Kangwon Province, Kangwon Land is the only casino in South Korea that accepts local players. The property boasts some 1,000 slots and 100 gaming tables, allowing hundreds of players to enjoy gambling at the same time. In addition, Kangwon Land has some 700 hotel rooms for guests. Despite that, finding a seat has been increasingly difficult the last few years.

While Kangwon Land, originally founded in 1998, is the only casino in South Korea that locals can visit, the launch of MGM Resorts’ resort in Osaka will likely upset the power balance. Considering Japan’s proximity to Korea, local customers might be tempted to visit the Osaka casino instead.

The expansion of Kangwon Land is, according to the government, a precautionary measure that seeks to ensure the property’s appeal to local consumers. Since MGM’s resort in Japan will not open earlier than 2029, the South Korean operator has ample time to reinforce its offering.

Still, the renovations envisioned by the government are also likely to take several years. Because of that, until the construction of the extra facilities starts, the government will open a temporary expanded casino.

 The $1.85 billion investment is notably the largest investment in the property since its opening.

In addition to casinos in other Asian countries, Kangwon Land will also have to compete with the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort which recently onboarded new solutions that will allow it to understand guests at an individual level.