Jeju Dream Tower casino passes impact assessment

Lotte Tour Development’s plan to move and to greatly expand its Jeju casino has cleared a major hurdle as the Jeju Casino Industry Impact Assessment Committee easily passed the proposal.

The initiative involves moving the current LT Casino within the Lotte Hotel Jeju (the smallest casino on the island in terms of revenue) into the soon-to-be-opened 38-storey Jeju Dream Tower, expanding the size of the casino by almost five times, and thus creating, when it opens, South Korea’s third largest casino.

Lotte Tour Development says that it plans to move its company headquarters from Seoul to Jeju with the completion of the project, which it hopes will come in October.

For approval in last Friday’s assessment, the proposal needed to score at least 800 points in the evaluation, but in fact it reached 1,000 points. Fourteen of the fifteen committee members advised full approval, and the remaining member counseled conditional approval.

This is the first time for such an impact assessment to be held, as the process was created last December through the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province’s new Casino Business Management and Supervision Ordinance.

The committee was made up of academics, businesspeople, administrators, members of civic groups, and residents, but the members were chosen at random and their identities not disclosed in order to ward off illicit lobbying.

For final approval, the Jeju Provincial Council and Governor Won Hee-Ryong must also give their consent.