In an attempt to attract more international visitors to the country, city authorities in Seoul, South Korea, are contemplating the idea of allowing more foreigner-only casinos. However, they will have to wait for the central government to approve the plan and also face public opposition.
“It's still in the initial stage,” a city official explained. “We have been considering what are the proper measures to expand the business. Many other international cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore have already been establishing casinos for foreign tourists. We will lose our competitiveness in tourism unless we take proper steps.”
Scaling up existing casinos is part of the plan to increase foreign tourism and will reinforce the campaigns and promotional events the city has held in the past few months. The government aims to attract 12 million tourists by 2010.
In 2005, the casinos in Seoul received 332,000 visitors while in 2006 the number grew to 698,000. Last year, the casino business generated $332 billion, almost $70 billion more than in 2005.