Net income at South Korean casino operator Kangwon Land Inc fell 9.1 percent in the first quarter. Such income was KRW129.79 billion (US$116.0 million) compared to KRW142.81 billion in the prior-year period, the company said in a Monday filing to the Korea Exchange.
Sales for the period totalled KRW422.97 billion – a decline of 3.1 percent on the KRW436.57 billion achieved in the prior-year quarter.
Quarterly operating income at the firm declined by 8.7 percent year-on-year, to KRW162.41 billion, from KRW177.88 billion a year earlier. The firm runs the Kangwon Land resort (pictured), the only one of South Korea’s 18 casinos that is permitted to cater to local players. The property is located in a remote upland area of Kangwon province, 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the capital Seoul.
The company reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of KRW393.9 billion for the three months to March 31, down 3.6 percent from a year earlier
A March note from banking group Morgan Stanley said that up to that point, the Kangwon Land property had seen casino sales fall to “2014 levels”. The note added the recent internal political crisis in the country had had an effect on decision-making connected with the casino resort’s operator, which is a public enterprise.
The country’s foreigner-only casinos serve international customers from a number of markets, including mainland China. Reuters news agency recently reported that the number of Chinese visitors to South Korea fell 39 percent year-on-year in March.
The dip coincided with a diplomatic row between China and South Korea over the latter’s installation, starting in early March, of a U.S.-supplied missile system which is reportedly supposed to counter North Korea’s ballistic missile tests.
In 2016, South Korea received just over 17.2 million overseas visitors, with nearly 47 percent of the tally – or over 8 million arrivals – generated by China, according to figures published by the Korea Tourism Organization.
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