south korean, casinos, IRs

Guangzhou R&F has requested another extension of the deadline to finish its integrated resort in Incheon, South Korea and has pledged to increase its investment by more than five percent.

The troubled Chinese real estate developer is asking for a further two years until 2024. It’s the fourth time it has requested a change in business conditions for the Midan City Complex, according to local media reports last week. 

The company’s local unit submitted the request to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Jan. 28th. The government will form a review committee and a decision is expected by March 17th. If it is declined, the license to run a foreigner-only casino will be declined.

The resort, which was given a preliminary license in 2014, was originally a venture between Caesars Entertainment and Hong Kong’s Lippo Group. 

However, the latter pulled out in 2016 citing regulatory uncertainties and Caesars went on to partner with Guangzhou R&F. In turn, Caesars walked away from the project early last year, saying it had sold its stake for “some barbecued pork,” leaving the Chinese developer without an experienced casino operator as a partner. 

Since then, Guangzhou R&F has been caught up in China’s crackdown on the real estate sector and the subsequent liquidity crunch. It was forced into a distressed debt exchange late last year, which ratings agencies said indicated it was close to default.