South Korea



The Board of Audit and Inspection is probing allegations of corruption involved with contracts awarded by the Korea Lottery Commission as well as auditing the agency, according to a report by Yonhap news service quoting unnamed sources. The board is also investigating Intralot, the Greek lottery company which has been helping run South Korea's lottery since 2008, Yonhap said.


Seoul plans to broaden its "leisure tax" to cover casinos and online sports gambling in a bid to raise more than 100 billion won in revenue ($89.9 million). The South Korean capital collected 170 billion won in leisure taxes last year, with operators of horse, motorcycle and motorboat races paying 10 of ticket sales.



The coaches of the 10 teams in the Korean Basketball League apologized and took responsibility for a match-fixing scandal that led to the arrest of former Wonju Dongbu Promy coach Kang Dong-hee earlier this month. Kang is suspected of causing the team to lose four games in 2010 and 2011 in return for getting $42,000 from two bookies.


Caesars Entertainment (Nasdaq:CZR) Chairman Gary Loveman expects the South Korean government to decide by May on the company's proposed joint venture with Lippo Group to develop an integrated resort in Incheon. Loveman is confident the proposal is in line with recently elected President Park Geun-hye’s plans to stimulate tourism. Caesars holds 60 percent of the joint venture. With one exception, all casinos in the country bar locals from entering. Caesars has long been trying to follow in the footsteps of its Vegas rivals and expand to Asia.


Grand Korea Leisure (114090:Korea SE), which operates three casinos under the Seven Luck brand in Seoul and Busan, saw revenue exceed 1 trillion won, or US $919 million, for the first time during the fourth quarter.  Chinese visitors represented 36.7 percent of total cash and markers wagered, a strong increase on last year.  GKL recently doubled the number of marketing personnel deployed for the Chinese mainland market.



Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ:CZR) is moving forward with a joint-venture casino project in South Korea with Lippo Group (226:HK), according to a statement from the Indonesian conglomerate, The Wall Street Journal's Kate O'Keeffe reported. The two companies have agreed to the terms on which they will seek government permission to develop a casino-resort in Incheon, a city near the country's capital of Seoul. Caesars will own 40% of the venture, Lippo will own 20%, and another partner will hold the remaining 40%, the statement indicated, without elaborating.