Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd (GKL), an operator in South Korea of foreigner-only casinos, said its casino sales rose 20.5 percent month-on-month in June.
Such sales were KRW12.48 billion (US$10.4 million), compared to KRW10.36 billion in May. Nonetheless June casino sales were still down 68 percent relative to June 2019, when they were just under KRW38.96 billion.
GKL experienced a 43-day shutdown of its casino operations, from March 24 until May 6, as part of South Korea’s countermeasures against the local spread of Covid-19.
Since April 1, travellers to South Korea have been required to undergo a 14-day quarantine on arrival, according to a dedicated Covid-19 information website maintained by the national government. According to industry commentary, some of the players at the country’s foreigner-only casinos are South Korean nationals that hold at least one other passport.
The country’s Yonhap news agency reported on Monday that tourist arrivals in South Korea dipped 99.5 percent in May. The news outlet cited data from the state-run Korea Tourism Organization showing a mere 6,111 foreign tourists visited South Korea in May, compared with over 1.23 million in the same month a year earlier.
GKL is a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization, which in turn is affiliated to South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The casino-operating entity runs three foreigner-only casinos in South Korea under the Seven Luck brand: two in the capital Seoul and one in the southern port city of Busan.
For June, GKL’s table game sales were KRW10.45 billion, up 29.4 percent on the just under KRW8.08 billion in May. June sales were down 69 percent on the KRW33.67 billion recorded in the same month of 2019.
This June’s machine game sales were close to KRW2.03 billion, down 11.2 percent on May’s KRW2.28 billion, and 61.7 percent down on the KRW5.29 billion managed in June 2019.
GKL’s accumulated casino sales for the calendar year to June 30 were down 41.1 percent year-on-year, to just under KRW133.07 billion, compared to nearly KRW226 billion in the first six months of 2019.
First-half 2020 table game sales were KRW118.14 billion, a decline of 39.8 percent on the KRW196.17 billion in the first six months of 2019.
First-half 2020 machine game sales were KRW14.92 billion, a dip of 50 percent on the nearly KRW29.83 billion in the first half a year earlier.
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”They want us to invest as well. The government there wants to see growth in Macau. We are not that concerned about that issue [licence renewal] at all”
Chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands