Profit at Kangwon Land Inc, the operator of South Korea’s only casino resort open to locals, rose by 23.0 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, despite a slight decline in revenue for the period.
Net profit in the three months to December 31 amounted to KRW78.39 billion (US$72.3 million), compared to KRW63.75 billion in the prior-year period, the company said in a filing on Monday to the Korea Exchange.
South Korean nationals are only allowed to gamble at Kangwon Land casino resort (pictured) in an upland area of Kangwon province – 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the country’s capital Seoul.
The casino operator reported sales of KRW399.44 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, down 2.6 percent from a year earlier. Operating income for the period fell by 19.7 percent year-on-year, to KRW95.40 billion, said the firm.
The company didn’t give commentary on the quarterly results filed with the Korea Exchange.
The Monday filing also showed that in the 12 months to December 31, Kangwon Land recorded aggregate revenue of approximately KRW1.60 trillion, down 5.4 percent compared to nearly KRW1.70 trillion in 2016.
The company saw its full-year net profit decline 3.7 percent year-on-year, to approximately KRW437.62 billion.
The casino operator is said to be under political pressure as the South Korean government seeks to limit revenue expansion for all forms of locals-focused gambling. The company has been ordered to slim the daily opening hours of its gaming venue at its sole casino resort, starting from April 1.
Starting from April, the casino at the property will be opened to public from 10am to 4am of the following day. The gaming venue currently operates from 10am to 6am of the following day.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau