Shares in South Korea’s Casino Operators Rally Ahead of Summit

Shares in South Korea’s casino operators rallied on Tuesday ahead of a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un on hopes for greater cross border cooperation, including a potential casino project, local media reports.

Kim is reportedly seeking US investment in a casino in Wonsan on the North’s eastern coast. Newspaper Dong-a Ilbo reported that senior North Korean official Kim Yong-Chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, had requested “investment support” for a casino and other tourist attractions at a meeting at the White House on Friday.

The state-run casino operator Grand Korea Leisure jumped 6.52 percent to 28,600 won (about US$26.81), and its smaller rival Paradise Group vaulted 5.84 percent to 19,950 won (about US$18.70).

The two leaders will meet in Singapore on June 12.

North Korea already has two small casinos and has been trying to attract investors to a cruise ship program.

The program would link its eastern mountain resort area to the Russian Far East and Southeast Asia, according to reports last year. The guideline said a foreign company or a consortium would be entitled to operate a tourist ship with an investment of US$10-20 million over the next ten years.

It also recently lifted a ban on betting on horse races. (AGB)