S.Korea gives initial approval to Lippo, Caesars casino resort

SEOUL, March 18 Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:54pm EDT

SEOUL, March 18 (Reuters) - South Korea on Tuesday granted preliminary approval to a consortium of Lippo Ltd and United States-based Caesars Entertainment Corp to build and operate a casino resort.

The first phase of the project, located minutes away from Incheon International Airport about 50 kilometres west of Seoul, will cost about 746.7 billion won ($699.55 million) and include a foreigner-only casino and at least two hotels expected to be built by 2018, the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a statement on Tuesday.

The entire development will cost around 2.3 trillion won and will be built over a period of nine years on Yeongjong Island, the companies said in a statement in December.