Korean casino operator Grand Korea Leisure (GKL) has received the lowest possible E grade in the government’s annual evaluation of management performance among public institutions.
GKL was one of two companies to receive the low mark alongside Korea Coal Corporation, with the evaluation focusing primarily on ethical practices and contribution to job growth in attributing its performance assessment. In total, 128 public institutions including 35 public companies were included in the evaluation, which plays a key role in determining the size of government incentives and bonuses.
GKL, a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization, operates two casinos in Seoul and one in Busan under its Seven Luck brand.
The number of public institutions receiving high marks also fell following multiple cases of companies being caught employing unfair hiring practices, including the infamous Kangwon Land case which saw Korean President Moon Jae-in fire 226 Kangwon Land employees in March found to have been hired by the state-owned operator via political connections.
In total, the number of public institutions receiving the top A grade fell from 13.4% last year to 10.6% this time around.
The results reflect a renewed focus by the recently empowered Moon Jae-in administration on business ethics.
“While the reformed evaluation of public institutions will be applied for this year’s management, unfair hiring and job creation were first adopted for our evaluation of last year’s performance,” said Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon. “By reflecting unfair hiring, which could harm the public’s trust, we were able to raise the importance of ethical management.”