Scientific Game

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 31 - Ham Seung-hui

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 13:09
Visit us

31 Ham Seung-hui

Kangwon Land



• In charge of Korea’s only locals casino
• Has tried to rid Kangwon Land of criminal activity

For the past 16 years, Korea’s Kangwon Land has been living the dream, controlling the only “locals friendly” casino in a country where the locals want nothing more than to play.

To this day it remains the envy of the nation’s foreigner-only casinos, yet recent times have been far less heady under the watch of President & CEO Ham Seung-huie. Appointed to the top job in 2014, the former prosecutor has stated a zero tolerance approach to the role, embarking on a mission to weed out alleged criminal activities and ensure the property is fulfilling its purpose of boosting the local economy.

It sounds like a noble pursuit but three years on the ghosts of years past continue to plague Kangwon Land. In September, the operator found itself embroiled in a major corruption scandal after admitting that the vast majority of its staff were hired through political and company connections.

 In a statement, Kangwon Land revealed that, from 2012 to 2013, it had hired 518 people of which 493 of them – around 95% – were appointed due to connections with various “influential people.”

“We apologize for committing a crime which would have been possible only in the 1960s or ‘70s,” the company said, pointing the finger firmly at former CEO Choi Heung-jip – who oversaw the company between July 2011 and February 2014 – in the process. “A thing of the past is tarnishing the image of Kangwon Land, which has been trying hard to improve its transparency in recent years. It breaks the hearts of all employees and we are very sorry.”

The company has also seen revenues dip in 2017, down 9.8% in 3Q17 to KRW395.1 billion (US$354.8 million) although analysts have noted Kangwon Land has been operating below its table capacity to “adjust revenues lower amid regulatory scrutiny.” Such actions don’t meld quite so well with Ham Seung-huie’s clean-up mission.

To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.

Current Issue

VIDEO: Inside Asian Gaming to host Asian Gaming Power 50 Gala Dinner

VIDEO: Inside Asian Gaming to host Asian Gaming Power 50 Gala Dinner Inside Asian Gaming will host the inaugural Asian Gaming Power 50 Gala Dinner on 23 November 2018. Friday, 12 January 2018 06:47


ENTER THE DRAGON2 NagaWorld’s expansion lifts the Mekong region’s largest integrated resort and Phnom Penh into the top tier of regional destinations, with an increasing focus on Chinese tourists. By Muhammad Cohen | Editor at large in Phnom Penh   When I first visited NagaWorld six years ago, the casino hot... Friday, 29 December 2017 03:00

Strength in numbers

Strength in numbers Macau’s VIP segment has been historically volatile, but has surprised with the sheer strength of its resurgence in 2017. What can we expect from VIP in 2018? By Ben Blaschke   If the jury was out on the sustainability of Macau VIP’s resurgence for much of 2017, it’s not anymore. Having cop... Friday, 29 December 2017 02:54

Data driven

Data driven From the traditional betting habits of Europe to the expanses of Asia, data analytics firm BettorLogic is showing how the correct use of data can provide benefits to sportsbook operators and customers alike. By Ben Blaschke   One of the enormous challenges facing sportsbook operators today is st... Friday, 29 December 2017 02:46