Kangwon Land Looks to Build on Slot Success through New Manufacturing Plant

Posted on: July 15, 2022, 07:33h. 

Last updated on: July 15, 2022, 01:22h.

South Korea’s Kangwon Land casino is diving deeper into the world of slot machine development. It has announced its intentions to open a slot machine manufacturing center in the city of Taebaek.

KL Saberi slot machines
KL Saberi, a Kangwon Land division, shows off slot machines at the 2019 G2E. The company wants to expand its slot machine manufacturing operations in South Korea. (Image: Pressian)

Kangwon Land already offers branded slot machines under the name KL Saberi. These are available at casinos around the globe after the casinos inked a distribution deal with RGB International three years ago.

As a result, the next logical step is to ramp up operations in that sector, and Kangwon Land believes the time has arrived. It has been meeting with representatives from Taebaek, including the city’s mayor, to lay out the project and take it live.

Sliding Into Slots

Kangwon Land views this as an opportunity to take advantage of a still-growing market, while at the same time, shoring up its operations with assistance. The endeavor, it hopes, will be a collaborative effort involving Taebaek, which might provide financial incentives.

In the company’s announcement, it stated that it is preparing the plan as a “regional cooperation project” with the city. Kangwon Land CEO Lee Sam-geol already met with Taebaek Mayor Lee Sang-ho to sign the agreement. However, they still have to resolve a few details. The company plans on releasing a follow-up to its announcement sometime next week.

Kangwon Land is in a good spot in South Korea. While there are a number of casinos that cater to international gamblers, it is the only one that locals can visit. As such, for 2021, its gambling revenue increased by 74.7% over 2020’s performance.

The final tally was KRW775.0 billion (US$583.65 million), up from KRW443.5 billion (US$333.95 million). The activity was almost exclusively responsible for South Korea’s positive gambling revenue of KRW1.18 trillion (US$931.0 million) for the year.

Land-based casino traffic is up in most places following the COVID-19 pandemic. The one major exception is Macau. However, everywhere else in 2022, land-based casinos had their greatest start to a year in the industry’s history.

A recent American Gaming Association (AGA) report indicated that attendance was up 11.3% compared to pre-pandemic 2020, and a staggering 34% from 2019, the previous most-attended year.

Slot machines are among the most popular forms of gambling. They take up less real estate than gaming tables and require less attention from consumers. As such, Kangwon Land is in a good position to take advantage of a strong gaming market.

Banking On Success

In August of last year, South Korea extended Kangwon Land’s casino license for another two decades. This will allow it to hold onto its status in the country until 2045.

The extension affords the company leeway and flexibility, which it is now putting to good use. Soon after receiving the approval, Kangwon Land announced that it would spend $24 million to update the casino. This includes a larger casino floor, as well as the refurbishment of certain amenities and other upgrades.

At the same time, it announced that it had signed an agreement with Latin Games SAC, an entertainment company in Peru. That arrangement was for the distribution of KL Saberi slot machines throughout South America.