Two of South Korea’s main foreigner-only casino operators have reported casino revenue increases for the first month of 2020. Casino revenue at foreigner-only operator Paradise Co Ltd rose by 28.3 percent in January compared to the previous year, while its market rival Grand Korea Leisure Ltd (GKL) saw casino sales jump by 57.2 percent.
Paradise Co reported on Tuesday that its January casino revenue was nearly KRW72.0 billion (US$60.63 million).
The group’s table revenue that month rose by 30.6 percent year-on-year to KRW68.09 billion, from KRW52.12 billion in the prior-year period. Slot machine revenue for January however declined by 1.7 percent year-on-year, to KRW3.91 billion.
No commentary on the reasons for year-on-year revenue fluctuations is given in the company’s monthly updates.
Paradise Co’s latest casino figures are based on the results of four venues it operates as part of its casino business division. They are: Walkerhill in Seoul; Jeju Grand on Jeju Island; Busan Casino in the southern port city of Busan; and Paradise City, in Incheon, near the main international airport serving the country’s capital Seoul.
GKL on Tuesday reported January casino sales of KRW54.58 billion. Table revenue for the period was KRW49.01 billion, up 63.7 percent from a year earlier, while machine revenue increased by 16.9 percent year-on-year, to KRW5.57 billion.
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.
The casino revenue performance might however be negatively impacted by announced restrictions related with efforts to prevent the spread of a newly-identified coronavirus. The two operators have since late January banned entry to their venues by Chinese package tour groups, an industry source confirmed to GGRAsia on Tuesday. The source of an outbreak of infection involving the novel coronavirus is believed to have been Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province.
South Korea had reported 16 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday. The country’s prime minister Chung Sye-kyun announced on Sunday that South Korea would bar entry to all foreign nationals who have been in China’s Hubei province in the past two weeks. The restrictions were effective from Tuesday, and will last for an unspecified period until incidence of the disease drops off.
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