South Korea’s Foreigner-Only Casinos See Mixed Performances in October

Posted on: November 3, 2021, 09:45h. 

Last updated on: November 3, 2021, 10:09h.

One of South Korea’s foreigner-only casino operators, Paradise Co, saw 125% higher revenue in October. However, their other venue, Grand Korea Leisure, saw a substantial drop in sales.

Paradise city casino in South Korea
Paradise Co’s Paradise City casino and resort, located near Incheon, pictured above. The company saw increased table revenue this month. However, overall revenue is still down from last year. (Image: Paradise City)

Paradise Co’s latest financial statement shows the company earned KRW21.35 billion (US $18.03 million) in October. This was significantly better than September, which totaled KRW9.49 billion (US $8 million). However, sales were still 4.5% lower than in October of last year.

Some of the success is due to an increase in restrictions in the company. However, casinos continue to deal with the closure of internal borders.

New restrictions released Monday in the country ease restrictions for some businesses, including bars and casinos. The government plans to eliminate all national restrictions by the beginning of 2022.  This could help attract new international interest, with South Korea repeatedly on operators’ radar as the prime target for expansion. 

Paradise Co Saved By Table Games

Paradise Co saw most of their October revenue from table tables. Table games earned KRW19.65 billion (US $16.59 million) in October across all Paradise Co casinos. This signifies an increase of 153% month-on-month. 

Slot machines accounted for sales of KRW1.7 billion (US $1.43 million), which is 1% less than in September.

Paradise Co owns four casinos: Paradise Walkerhill in Seoul, and Jeju Grand, Busan Casino Paradise, and Paradise City in Incheon.

GKL Heads in the Opposite Direction

The only other foreigner-only casino operator in South Korea, Grand Korea Leisure (GKL), didn’t see the same success. It announced a 16.5% drop in sales compared to last year, and a sequential decline in sales of KRW9.27 billion ($7.82 million). 

Revenue from table games was down 3.2% compared to September. This represents a 16% year-on-year decline. Revenue from slot machines was KRW 1.60 billion (US $1.35 million), which is 7.2% higher than the previous month, but still 17.8% lower than October of last year.

For the first ten months, casino sales were almost 60% lower (58.3%) than in the same period last year. As a result, the final total was KRW75.35 billion ($63.59 million), impacted by a table drop that fell 57.5% to KRW 580.64 billion (US $490.08 million). The table drop for October was KRW71.95 billion (US $60.72 million). But this figure was 2.2% higher when compared to the figure for September.

GKL has three casinos in South Korea, the Gangnam COEX and Gangbuk Millenium Seoul Hilton in Seoul, and Seven Luck Casino Busan Lotte.

South Korea’s COVID-19 Fight

Restrictions in South Korea have been very stringent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and authorities are just beginning to relax these measures. As a result, restaurants and cafes and other businesses can now operate without time constraints.

On Friday, the government announced that restrictions would be lifted or relaxed this month in operations in most establishments. Still, the government mandates proof of vaccination or a negative PCR in many places, including casinos. Mask requirements and social distancing requirements remain in place.