The Jeju Solidarity for Participatory Self-government and Environmental Preservation, described as a local grassroots environment group, has raised concerns over collusion between Lotte Tour Development Co and Jeju’s casino director over efforts by Lotte to relocate its casino to Jeju Dream Tower.
According to a report by News Jeju, the group has requested an audit from the Provincial Audit Committee claiming Lotte Tour “tried to manipulate the opinion survey of residents in the process of preparing the casino industry impact assessment report.”
The report formed a key part of the company’s application to relocate casino operations from Lotte Hotel Jeju to the US$1.4 billion Jeju Dream Tower, which opened in December.
Relocation of the casino would expand Lotte Tour’s current gaming space by almost five times to more than 5,000 square meters and see its five gaming tables and 51 machines rise to 150 tables and 300 machines.
The environmental impact study was filed last year, however the local group alleges that the procedure for collecting opinions from citizens was distorted.
According to News Jeju, the study is conducted on a 1,000-point scale comprising 500 points for local community influence, 300 points for contribution to the local community and 200 points for collecting opinions of residents. Applicants must score at least 800 points. However, it is alleged resident opinions were sought from people known to be supportive of Jeju Dream Tower.
Lotte Tour has denied the accusations, stating there could be no such issue as the collection of opinions was commissioned independently by research firm Gallup Korea.