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.

What's new

LRWC and Galaxy acquire 23-hectare site for US$500 Philippines IR

LRWC and Galaxy acquire 23-hectare site for US$500 Philippines IR Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC) has revealed that one of its subsidiaries has purchased 23 hectares of land on Boracay Island for the US$500 million integrated resort it plans to build in partnership with Galaxy Entertainment Group. In a filing to the Philippines Stock Exchange on Monday, LRW... Tuesday, 20 March 2018 07:18

The 13 Holdings subscribes 90.26% of available shares in HK$973 million fundraising effort

The 13 Holdings subscribes 90.26% of available shares in HK$973 million fundraising effort The 13 Holdings Ltd says that 90.26% of the 920,867,010 rights issue shares made available for subscription have been subscribed as it looks to raise HK$973 million for completion of its luxury Macau hotel and casino, The 13. In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday, The 13 Holdings sa... Tuesday, 20 March 2018 07:05

VIDEO: A look inside Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa

VIDEO: A look inside Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa IAG provides a unique glimpse inside Silver Heritage Group's new IR, Tiger Palace Resort, which held its Grand Opening over the weekend. Tuesday, 20 March 2018 06:54

Pansy Ho takes over as Hong Kong’s richest woman

Pansy Ho takes over as Hong Kong’s richest woman MGM China Executive Director and co-Chairperson Pansy Ho has claimed the title of Hong Kong’s richest woman, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index, with a personal fortune of US$6.01 billion. The daughter of Macau gaming godfather Stanley Ho, the 55-year-old has claimed the mantle from... Tuesday, 20 March 2018 06:35

Current Issue

MGM “all-in” on Cotai

MGM “all-in” on Cotai Almost five years to the day since MGM first broke ground on its second Macau integrated resort, MGM Cotai finally opened its doors to the public on 13 February with the US$3.4 billion investment pinning its future on the premium mass market and an array of innovative features. By Ben Blaschke “... Tuesday, 27 February 2018 14:50

European vacation

European vacation Novomatic is targeting both the US and Asian markets with its recent acquisition of a 52% stake in Australian slot machine developer Ainsworth Game Technology.By Ben Blaschke WHEN Austrian gaming giant Novomatic Group confirmed the completion of its AU$500 million purchase of a 52.2% stake in Austra... Tuesday, 27 February 2018 14:48

Problem solving

Problem solving Inside Asian Gaming speaks with Davis Fong, Associate Professor in International Integrated Resort Management and Director of Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming at the University of Macau’s Faculty of Business Administration, about the extent of gambling disorders in the Asian gaming hub... Tuesday, 27 February 2018 14:44

Gaming and the nine intelligences

Gaming and the nine intelligences Sudhir Kale explores the nine types of intelligence as defined by Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner and how they apply to the gaming industry.  DURING my decades of involvement in the gaming industry, I have had the pleasure of knowing many senior executives from all over the world. They are all... Tuesday, 27 February 2018 14:40