The Korea Casino Association (KCA) has confirmed to GGRAsia that South Korea’s casino sector generated first-half gambling cash turnover amounting to KRW480.45 billion (US$409.1 million).
Full-year 2020 gambling turnover for the sector amounted to KRW1.04 trillion.
Full-year sales in 2019 – the most recent 12 months of steady trading prior to the Covid-19 pandemic – amounted to KRW2.93 trillion
The first-half data said there were 619,221 aggregate visits to South Korean casinos in the period. Full-year 2020’s tally was 1,756,963 visits. The whole of 2019 saw 6,128,952 visits to South Korean casinos.
In 2020 and so far this year there has been pandemic-related disruption to South Korea’s casino sector. An aggregate of 16 of the country’s 17 casinos are allowed only to serve foreign customers, and entry to South Korea for foreigners has been restricted as a pandemic countermeasure.
Additionally, venues in the sector have been required to reduce operating capacity, as a social-distancing measure, and some have had short-term shutdowns.
Kangwon Land Inc, operator of the Kangwon Land resort, South Korea’s only casino open to locals, recorded first-half casino sales of KRW302.17 billion, according to the Korea Casino Association. Kangwon Land’s full-year 2020 casino sales amounted to KRW443.55 billion.
The property’s casino sales for 2019 were KRW1.48 trillion, based on the association’s data.
First-half 2021 visits to Kangwon Land totalled 286,611. In full-year 2020, the tally of visits was 599,265. For 2019, casino visits totalled 2,895,191, said the trade association.
Kangwon Land Inc had said in an August 17 filing to the Korea Exchange that its first-half casino sales had been KRW269.28 billion. A Korea Casino Association representative told GGRAsia the reason for the difference between its first-half figure for Kangwon Land compared to the one reported by the firm to the bourse was that the trade association had been applying Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism accounting standards.
The Ministry had in May told GGRAsia that its figures for casino sales included items such as receivables. Those items might be excluded from aggregate sales as reported by operators listed on the Korea Exchange, said the Ministry.
Kangwon Land Inc recorded second-quarter net profit of nearly KRW20.9 billion, as compared to a net loss at KRW40.9 billion in the previous quarter and a loss of KRW45.56 billion a year ago, according to the firm’s unaudited financial results published on August 10.
According to association data, South Korea’s 16 foreigner-only casinos recorded aggregate gambling sales of KRW178.29 billion in the first half this year.
For full-year 2020, such sales were KRW597.8 billion. In 2019, full-year sales were KRW1.45 trillion.
Total first-half 2021 visits to the foreigner-only casinos were 332,610. In full-year 2020, the tally was 1,157,698. For 2019, those 16 casinos registered 3,233,761 visits.
Patrons of foreigner-only casinos can include people with permanent residency in a foreign country but who may also have South Korean citizenship, according to an official of a foreigner-only casino spoken to by GGRAsia.
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