The gaming industry in South Korea is about to become a bit bigger if one political party has its way. In the North Jeolla province, the Bareunmirae Party is looking for ways to gain further economic independence and boost its tourism potential. It decided that the casino would be a great solution and also one of the most likely ones. Of course, as expected, the idea has many opponents.
According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of South Korea, the Saemangeum area will become a special economic zone. The area would then focus on providing infrastructure for maritime leisure, which would include yachts and docks, but also general tourism growth. The party wants to create there a casino for both visitors and local citizens. In South Korea, this option in the gaming industry services is rarely found. But, the party is stating that the building of a casino would be a big turning point for the entire North Jeolla province. The same applies to its economic potential.
Because of that, the local government, in the eyes of the Bareunmirae Party should work on transforming the area into one like Darling Harbour in Australia. Another comparison was the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Both of these locations have seen major investment in recent periods and both are expanding. The Bareunmirae Party believes that the same potential exists in South Korea as well.
As soon as the Bareunmirae Party revealed its plans, the local opposition was up in arms. One of the several parties that oppose the casino initiative is the Korean Federation for Environmental Movements. Its representatives said that the party is distorting facts to make it seem like the government is behind this plan. However, the initiative is still at the party level.
There are currently 17 casinos in the country. But, out of all of these, only one, the Kangwon Land in the Gangwon province, accepts local gamblers. All others are designed to cater to the tourists and foreign citizens in South Korea. In 2015, North Jeolla was a potential destination for a casino, but only for foreign gamblers.
Ultimately, the initiative did not go anywhere and the casino never materialized. Now, opponents are against the casino, but also the expansion of Saemangeum area tourism use. The Korean Federation for Environmental Movements and other environmental parties believe that nature would suffer because of any development.
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