Relatives of AmorePacific’s Chairman Suspected of Being Favorited in Kangwon Land Casino Procurement Placement Process

Families associated with the chairman of the Korean cosmetics giant AmorePacific Group, Suh Kyung-bae, have been suspected of generating benefit from favoritism related to Kangwon Land, the state-owned operator.

According to the main opposition People Power Party’s Representative Ku Ja-keun, companies run by families and relatives of the chairman of AmorePacific Group have accounted for more than 50% of the overall number of procurement placements from the Gangwon Province-based Kangwon Land casino since 2013.

Tenders from the casino operator were monopolized by three corporations, including KGS, Nongshim Data System Corp. (NDS) and Taeshin Inpack Co. Currently, Taeshin Inpack Co. is run by a cousin of the AmorePacific chairman – Suh Myoung-hyun. KGS is also related to him. The third corporate name – Nongshim Data System Corp. – is a subsidiary of the food giant Nongshim Group, which is property of AmorePacific chairman’s father in law, Shin Chun-ho.

According to recently made revelations, Kangwon Land breached the electronic bid rule at the time the company made an offer for some electronic table orders at the casino in July 2020. The orders were estimated at KRW2.95 billion. NDS was chosen as the bidder despite the fact its bid was officially submitted after the deadline.

NDS Unfairly Given Rebidding Opportunity Breaching Special Bidding Process Clauses

Kangwon Land is now under suspicion of unfairly providing NDS with rebidding opportunity after the proposal was renewed in advance and some additional documents were requested. According to allegations, these actions breached a clause under a special clause under which no changes and cancellations can be made in electronic bidding proposals. Another clause, which states opening the bidding process should be made at a certain date and time, was also violated, allegations say.

The gambling operator that owns and runs the only casino that accepts local residents confessed it had violated the aforementioned regulation, but insisted that it had not aimed to provide more favorable conditions to a certain participant in the bidding process. The casino company also shared no pressure or superior instructions have been used to guarantee a special treatment.

According to the lawmaker, NDS won an order with a false bidding proposal.

The document proving the offer that had been made shows that Kangwon Land presented a contribution that a roll-back feature should be included in the tender. The aforementioned feature guarantees that any errors identified after the game would be rectified by recalculating or retrieving game money. In the product specifications of the electronic table unveiled, DNS suggested that its devices included such features. However, lawmaker Ku insisted that the machines offered by the company do not have such features.

The Representative of the People Power Party Ku Ja-keun revealed that a consortium, which was formed between NDS, KGS and Taeshin Inpack, actually won three of four Kangwon Land casino-related bids in 2019 and 2020.