U.S. Markets closed

Paradise, Sega Sammy plan $1.7 bln South Korea resort

HONG KONG/SEOUL, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Paradise Group , one of South Korea's largest casino operators, and Japanese gaming company Sega Sammy plan to invest $1.7 billion to build a luxury resort to tap a surge in Chinese gamblers flocking to the country.

The pair said in a statement on Tuesday they will build a foreigners-only casino in Incheon, in the northwest of the country near the capital Seoul and a short flight away from wealthy gamblers in China and Japan.

South Korea, which bans locals from entering its casinos bar one located in a remote province, is being eyed by global casino operators as a potential site for Asian expansion at a time when countries from Vietnam to Japan are mulling legislation to permit casinos as part of a drive to boost tourism and their economies.

The statement was released during stock trading hours in South Korea. Paradise shares closed up 3.6 percent in Seoul.