When you think Caesars Palace, the first thing that pops in your head is of course Las Vegas. Maybe you also think about the Roman Empire, but as it relates to gaming, Sin City for sure comes to mind. Although this is true, in recent years, Caesars Entertainment Corp has taken its brand out of the desert, bringing its gambling oasis empire to more and more cities around the world.
North of the 49th parallel, for example, Caesars Windsor brings that famous Las Vegas brand to Canadians – and to Americans who want to hop south across the Detroit River to Canada (yes, south, as Windsor, Canada is technically south of Detroit…you’re welcome or the geography lesson). Caesars also owns properties Horseshoe properties in Atlantic City, Tahoe, Tunica, and elsewhere across the US. And on the Las Vegas strip, they own Paris, Bally’s, Planet Hollywood, Rio, and countless others. As well Caesar’s owns the world famous WSOP brand. So, clearly, they’re known worldwide. That should make their entrance to South Korea pretty well received.
South Korea has just approved construction of the country’s very first foreign-owned casino resort. Caesars will be building a gambling, hotel, and shopping complex – most likely resembling what you’d find in Las Vegas. Or, more familiar to the locals, what you’d find in Macau and Singapore. The property will be built just outside Seoul.
Asia is becoming a hugely big casino market that remains widely untapped. China has a massive outbound gaming market, with gamblers flocking to Macau and Singapore to spend their money. Korea isn’t just looking to offer something to their own residents. They’re looking to tap the big money in China that’s flowing elsewhere.
But it’s not just land-based gaming that’s a huge attraction. In 2013, China’s online gambling market apparently shot up 246% over the year before. Caesars is likely hoping that with a property in South Korea, wealthy Chinese who live closer to South Korea than they do to Maccau will flock over the border and spend their money there.
This isn’t South Korea’s first casino. But it’s the first one that will appeal to locals too. South Korea currently has more than 16 casinos that are designed specifically to appeal to northern Chinese. They’re mostly built near Seoul’s airport. Some are on the island of Jeju – about an hour plan ride from Shanghai and Beijing, making them way more convenient than Maccau. Clearly, there’s room for lots more.