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South Korean Casino Resort to Open

24 March 2003

SOUTH KOREA – As reported by the Korea Times: "Friday will be a memorable day for the depleted coalmine of Sabuk in Chongson, Kangwon Province, with the opening of a super-deluxe hotel, its main casino and convention facilities.

"No longer will it be labeled as the mediocre destination for people who are addicted to gambling, many of whom have blown hundreds of billions of won at the roulette or other gaming tables since the opening of the Small Casino at the end of 2000.

"On the other hand, the opening of the main hotel and casino, officially called Kangwon Land Resort & Casino, marks the beginning of the its emergences as a truly international resort with the scheduled construction of a golf course, ski slopes and theme parks.

"`This is more than a casino. It will be an international resort for all seasons and we will be making concerted efforts to attract foreign visitors,' said Kangwon Land CEO Oh Kang-hyun.

"…There are numerous casinos in Korea, including the Paradise Casino at the Grande Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in eastern Seoul, but they are reserved for foreigners and Koreans with foreign nationalities.

"…Contrary to initial concerns about its popularity, over 2 million Korean residents have visited the facilities since its opening despite its rather inconvenient location _ it takes over four hours to get there from Seoul, including a three-and-a-half-hour trip on a train _ prompting criticisms that it was fanning addiction to gambling.

"…The main casino on the fourth and fifth floors provides 960 slot machines and 100 gaming tables, three times as many as those at the Small Casino. There will also be a theme park in front of the hotel that offers 14 rides…"

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