Jeju, Korea’s semi-autonomous province with foreigner-only casinos, should consider allowing a new integrated resort (IR) with casinos on the coast of Jungmun (pictured) in line with the launch of a second private airport in Jeju.
Former Culture and Tourism Minister Kim Jong-min, who served from 2007 to 2008, was speaking Tuesday at the Jeju International Casino Policy Forum hosted by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.
Kim suggested that the government’s announcement on the second civilian airport for Jeju will be made later this year, after which construction will begin in 3-4 years, and that such a plan will take place in 2030 at the earliest. According to a document from the Ministry of Environment seen by GGRASIA’s Korean correspondent, the proposed location is on the west side of the island, 55 kilometers (34.2 miles) from Jungmun, or about 70 minutes through the current road network.
Jeon said that once the new casino-resort complex is built in Jungmun, it will be able to compete with local game sites including a casino cluster in Incheon, near Korea’s main airport providing the capital Seoul, a casino monopoly in Singapore, and Japan’s impending Osaka Integrated Resort (IR). According to an announcement by the Osaka authorities, the latter may open in 2030.
Jungmun, southwest of Jeju, already hosts Shilla Jeju hotels, including Megaruck Casino, managed by Hong Kong-listed New Silk Road Culture Entertainment Co.
The idea of building a second civilian airport in Jeju was already proposed in 1989. A detailed investigation into the idea began in 2013, according to a document published by an airport expansion support organization under the Jeju government in June this year.
A business plan has been drawn up that represents a capital investment of nearly W6.67 trillion. The facility will be designed to handle more than 19.9 million passenger movements per year, and will have a runway of 3,200 meters (about 10,500 feet).
The current Jeju International Airport has an annual passenger transport capacity of nearly 25.9 million people, with two runways: one of 3,180 meters and one of 1,910 meters. The head of the airport’s expansion support group said, “The airport’s current passenger capacity was over 90 percent, so it’s the right time to have a second civilian airport.”
The organization also said it prefers a second airport plan to expand its current air hub because land needs to be reclaimed from the sea.
Jeju Governor Oh Young-hoon said in a document for the casino policy forum on the 20th that the government “has a steady will” to lead the market diversification of the Jeju casino industry by strengthening overseas publicity.