Chinese developer Guangzhou R&F Properties has reportedly sacked employees who had been working on the site of Midan City Resort Complex in South Korea.
Midan City Resort Complex, previously dubbed Caesars Korea, is an integrated casino resort currently under development near Incheon International Airport, the country’s busiest travel hub.
A subsidiary of Guangzhou, R&K Korea, now promotes the mega project after Las Vegas casino giant Caesars Entertainment, Inc. sold its 50% stake in the scheme to its Chinese partner this past February.
According to a report by Korean news outlets, Guangzhou fired around 30 employees of Tianli Korea Construction, the development firm previously tapped to build the integrated resort. It is believed that all 30 construction workers were notified of their dismissal last week.
The move was part of Guangzhou’s effort to streamline operations by liquidating the Korean construction company. It is understood that the Chinese developer wants to assume direct responsibilities for building the future hotel and casino complex.
Work on the resort first kicked off in the fall of 2017. However, development was halted in February 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak and due to disagreements between Caesars and its local construction partners, who demanded all outstanding funds to be fully paid and further funding for the project to be secured before work could resume.
The resort was about 25% complete at the time.
One-Year Extension Granted
Construction work is expected to resume in the next few weeks, it also emerged, with Guangzhou assuming control over the process.
News about the company dismissing employees emerge shortly after South Korean authorities gave it a one-year deadline extension to complete and launch phase one of the integrated resort scheme.
Guangzhou had sought a permission to push back the opening of the property by three years. The company had originally been supposed to open phase one of the complex by mid-March.
According to information provided by the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority, the South Korean government agency tasked with overseeing the project’s progress, the nation’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism would require Guangzhou to find a new partner, now as Caesars is out, and that partner should have considerable experience in operating casino properties.
Once operational, the resort is expected to feature a foreigner-only casino, a hotel with multiple rooms and suites, services apartments, villas as well as entertainment, event, retail, and food and beverage facilities.
Caesars’ departure from the scheme did not come as much of a surprise. Following its combination with former casino operator Eldorado Resorts in the summer of 2020, the group has largely been focused on expanding and strengthening its domestic operations. Aside from its exit from Caesars Korea, it also recently abandoned its plan to build one of Japan’s first three casino resorts.
Source: Chinese construction firm fires all workers on site of former Caesars IR development in Incheon, Inside Asian Gaming, March 28, 2021