South Korea has unveiled plans for a monumental $1.85 billion expansion of Kangwon Land, the country’s only casino resort open to Korean residents. This strategic enhancement aims to significantly expand the casino’s footprint from 167,000 square feet to nearly 533,000 square feet, incorporating a new hotel, a cultural complex, and a wellness center amidst the natural forest surroundings.

The expansion, known as the “K-HIT” project for “Korea High Integrated Tourism,” is designed to fortify Kangwon Land’s appeal as a top-tier tourist destination. This comes as regional competition heats up with Japan’s upcoming MGM Osaka, a more than $8 billion venture set to launch by 2030, and the recent opening of the Inspire casino at Incheon International, though the latter only serves foreign visitors. This initiative marks the most substantial investment in the resort since its inception in 1998.

Through this project, we plan to differentiate ourselves from domestic and foreign competitors located in large cities

Official statement from the South Korean government

Currently, Kangwon Land features around 100 table games, 1,000 slot machines, and 700 guestrooms, often reaching capacity during peak times. The expansion will also include added convention space aimed at attracting large international gatherings, an essential part of South Korea’s strategy to draw 80 million visitors annually by 2027.

The investment reflects a broader trend of significant capital injection into the Asian gaming market, particularly as operators pivot from Macau’s declining VIP sector due to China’s crackdown on gambling.

For gaming enthusiasts and tourists looking for an expansive and integrated resort experience, Kangwon Land’s future offerings promise to deliver something unique. Similarly, for those in the UK interested in understanding the global landscape of casino resorts and how they cater to diverse clienteles within regulated environments, exploring UK casinos can offer valuable insights into a world of responsible yet thrilling gaming experiences.

As Kangwon Land gears up for this transformative upgrade, the eyes of the world will be watching, anticipating how this substantial investment will shape the future of tourism and entertainment in the region.

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Nigel Frith