POWER SCORE: 763
POSITION LAST YEAR: 35
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Returned profit growth to Korea’s only casino for local players
• Joined Kangwon Land from government’s Bureau of Audit that formulated measures to limit casino’s revenue.
Government owned Kangwon Land, Korea’s only casino that doesn’t require a foreign passport to enter, tapped Moon Taegon in December 2017 to fix two big problems. So far he’s succeeding on both fronts at the mountain resort three hours outside Seoul.
Among many measures imposed to limit gaming revenue, Kangwon Land has a revenue cap – one it habitually exceeded. Moon worked at the government’s Bureau of Audit that formulated the revenue cap, based on national GDP, and in 2018 gaming revenue came in under the cap, down 8% from 2017, and operating profits tumbled 19%. Steps to reduce revenue had gone too far.
This year, Kangwon Land has corrected, shifting shortened hours from 10am-4am to 12pm-6am and deploying more of its reduced table numbers during prime hours. Gaming revenue for the first half rose 24% from 2018. Non-gaming revenue gained 14%, aided by a water park opened last year. Expansion plans include a cultural theme park, celebrating the Gangwon region’s mining past, and wellness activities.
Moon’s predecessors also made Kangwon Land synonymous with scandal, amid accusations of politically motivated hiring and personal use of company funds. So far, Moon seems to be running a cleaner and more financially sound operation.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.