he gaming unit of the Korea Tourism Organization aborted the plan after seeking a joint partnership to build an integrated resort on the western gateway island as Seoul is set to hand out two more casino licenses this year. The deadline is slated for Nov. 27.
"We have made the decision considering the shrunken demand from Chinese customers. Also, attempts to form a consortium fell through. But there is still room for another try if there are opportunities down the road," a senior official said on the condition of anonymity.
GKL has grappled with falling profit this year after Beijing's anti-corruption drive scared away Chinese gamblers, the main source of income for foreigner-only casinos.
Its third-quarter net profit tumbled 41.5 percent to 22.58 billion won (US$19.52 million) from a year ago, as the number of Chinese customers further dropped following the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in late May. South Korea bans locals from gambling in all but one of its 17 licensed casinos.