The Korean casino industry, including Kangwon Land, is showing signs that a majority of Japanese citizens want to review the casino business due to the recent "Casino Scandal" in the complex casino resort project (IR), which the Japanese government has been actively pursuing.
According to Japan’s Kyodo News Service, 71 percent of the respondents said the project should be reviewed, while only 21 percent said they were in favor of the project.
The Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is pushing for three large IR projects in Osaka and Japan to open in 2025.
According to Yonhap News Agency and other reports, the situation has changed dramatically since the end of last year when Japanese prosecutors arrested and indicted lawmakers and incumbent lawmakers who were in the Shinzo Abe administration and raided the offices of the former justice minister and his wife at the same time.
After all, the IR project is expected to be forced to review the project and postpone it indefinitely as it is not supported by the public due to widespread concerns over the side effects of bribery cases and gambling addiction by a ruling party lawmaker.
"This year, Japan was planning to select a candidate site for a multi-casino, but it is known that public opinion is worsening due to the sudden outbreak of the casino scandal," said an official at the Korea Casino Business Tourism Association.
"It is true that the opening of the complex casino resort in Japan could cause direct damage to Kangwon Land," a Kangwon Land official said. "If the project is scrapped or postponed, it would be a good thing for Kangwon Land, but it is difficult to clarify its position at the moment."
Meanwhile, according to the Korea Casino Industry Tourism Association’s "Analysis Report on the Impact of Introducing IR in Japan," commissioned by Professor Lee Choong-ki of Kyung Hee University’s Department of Tourism, the opening of IR in Japan is expected to result in foreign currency outflow of at least 670,000 customers per year and 1.33 trillion won per year among Kangwon Land customers.
Experts predict that once the IR resort opens in Japan, sales of the Kangwon Land casino, valued at 1.5 trillion won a year, will plunge at least 80 percent as a large number of top customers from the capital and Yeongnam regions who were visiting Kangwon Land turn to Japan.