Renewed hope for Incheon development after Midan City owner secures additional funding

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An artists impression of the former Caesars Korea IR project, now referred to as the Midan City Resort Complex.

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Development work on South Koreas Midan City Resort Complex could resume by October amid reports that its owner, Chinese construction firm Guangzhou R&F Properties Co, has secured US$16.5 million in foreign direct investment [FDI].

According to local media outlets, the cash injection will almost certainly be applied to kickstarting development after the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism earlier this year denied a request by Guangzhou R&F for a three-year extension to its construction deadline, granting instead a one-year extension until late 2022.

All work on Midan City, formerly led by US casino giant Caesars Entertainment, was halted in February 2020 due to the main construction company, Ssangyong E&C, being unable to cover KRW30 billion (US$27 million) in costs as a result of Caesars ceasing any further investment.

Caesars subsequently sold its 50% stake to Guangzhou R&F in early 2021.

An official from the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority is quoted as stating, I think there is a high possibility that [the FDI] will be used as an expense to solve the problem of established funds with Ssangyong E&C.

Expectations that the construction can start again as early as October come from inside and outside the Incheon Economic Administration.

It had previously been reported that Midan City was unlikely to open before 2025 as a result of funding issues, with only 25% of the casino complex currently completed and 60% of the land comprising the broader Midan City complex still unsold, stalling the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authoritys development plans for the region.

Another integrated resort development by US tribal gaming firm Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has also been paused as a result of COVID-19 and subsequent delays in securing final funding.