Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd (GKL), an operator in South Korea of foreigner-only casinos, reported on Wednesday a first-quarter net loss that narrowed sequentially and year-on-year. The firm said it had seen improved VIP gaming performance, and had been able to ease social distancing measures in the reporting period.
Grand Korea Leisure recorded a first-quarter net loss at KRW10.80 billion (US$8.5 million), narrowed from the KRW34.38 billion net loss in the previous quarter, and the KRW37.43-billion net loss in the prior-year period, according to the firm’s financial results filed to the Korea Exchange on Wednesday.
In the first quarter, Grand Korea Leisure recorded an operating loss of KRW13.23 billion, also narrowed from the operating loss of KRW42.29 billion in the previous quarter and KRW46.64-billion operating loss in the prior-year period.
Grand Korea Leisure is a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization, which in turn is affiliated to the 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.
The casino net sales generated from these three venues reached KRW46.30 billion in the first quarter, representing a 612.3-percent increase from just KRW6.50 billion in the prior-year period, stated Grand Korea Leisure in a separate release detailing its latest quarterly performance.
In March alone this year, Grand Korea Leisure recorded KRW29.70-billion in casino net sales, which it described as the “largest” monthly tally seen since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. A factor was “improvement” seen in VIP gaming business generated from “domestic” clients.
First-quarter easing of social distancing restrictions also helped Grand Korea Leisure in its sales performance, the firm said.
Gaming table “drop” – the amount paid by patrons to purchase gaming chips – reached KRW288.50 billion in the first quarter, a jump of 503.6 percent year-on-year, the casino operator stated.
In lookahead remarks accompanying the first-quarter results, Grand Korea Leisure said it expected to see business normalise in the second quarter, and to expand sales. “Side bets” had been permitted on table games from April onwards, and there had been a resumption in the second quarter, of marketing activities targeted at overseas patrons, the casino operator stated.
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