The gaming regulator in South Korea says turnover in the casinos there that admit only foreigners, fell 10.9 percent year-on-year judged in local-currency terms during 2019.
Such turnover for foreigner-only casinos was just under KRW1.45 trillion (US$1.22 billion), compared to KRW1.63 trillion a year earlier.
The regulator, the National Gambling Control Commission, posted online a table of figures outlining the financial performance of the industry.
No commentary on the reasons for year-on-year turnover fluctuation for the foreigner-only casinos was provided in the commission’s data table.
Annual turnover from South Korean casinos catering for foreigners contributed 6.4 percent of all gambling turnover (including non-casino sources) in South Korea in 2019, a 0.9-percentage point decline on the segment’s contribution in 2018.
The figures indicated that patrons paid just over 3.23 million visits during 2019 to the 16 casinos that are for foreigners only, up 13.9 percent compared to almost 2.84 million visits in 2018.
The foreigner-only sector’s tax contribution as a percentage of the KRW1.45-trillion in gross gambling yield was 7.4 percent in 2019. Under the implementation terms of the country’s Tourism Promotion Act, the turnover from casinos is equal to the gross gambling yield.
The commission also gave 2019 data for Kangwon Land, the only casino in the country permitted to admit customers that have only a South Korean passport.
Turnover at the facility, run by Kangwon Land Inc, went up 5.8 percent, to just over KRW1.48 trillion last year – i.e., in aggregate, more than the foreigner-only casinos combined – compared to KRW1.40 trillion in 2018.
No commentary was provided regarding the reasons for year-on-year turnover fluctuation.
Patrons for Kangwon Land casino, a venue based in a resort in a remote upland region outside the capital Seoul, aggregated just under 2.90 million visits in 2019, versus just over 2.85 million visits in 2018.
Kangwon Land alone accounted for a 6.5 percent share of the nation’s 2019 gambling turnover.
Taxation on Kangwon Land’s casino operation accounted in 2019 for 24.1 percent of the venue’s just over KRW1.48 trillion gross gambling yield.
The biggest-single share contribution to national gambling in terms of turnover was the lottery segment, with 23.9 percent, or just over KRW4.79 trillion.
The 2020 business performance of foreigner-only casinos and Kangwon Land has been affected respectively by the Covid-19 pandemic. Kangwon Land’s casino is currently closed and is due to stay shut until September 21.
Paradise City, a foreigner-only casino resort near Incheon International Airport, currently has its gaming facilities shuttered for an indefinite amount of time, after Covid-19 infection was traced to two casino staff, according to local media reports.
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