South Korean foreigner-only casino operator Grand Korea Leisure reported a 43.8% year-on-year increase and more than 500% sequential quarterly increase in casino sales in 2Q21 to KRW32.98 billion (US$28.4 million).
The improved results were largely due to more stable operations than in recent quarters as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the company’s three casinos – Gangnam COEX and Gangbuk, Millenium Seoul Hilton in Seoul, and Seven Luck Casino Busan Lotte – open throughout most of the quarter. All had been closed from late November 2020 until mid-March 2021.
Nevertheless, GKL still fell to a net loss attributable to shareholders of the parent of KRW18.06 billion (US$15.5 million) and an operating loss of KRW25.90 billion (US$22.3 million), although both were narrowed from losses of KRW37.43 billion (US$32.2 million) and KRW46.64 billion (US$40.1 million) respectively in 1Q21.
For the first six months of 2021 combined, casino sales are down 71.6% year-on-year to KRW38.25 billion (US$32.9 million) as a result of the poor performance due to closures in Q1.
Fellow foreigner-only casino operator Paradise Co last week reported casino sales of KRW84.6 billion (US$73.3 million) for the June quarter, down 12.4% versus the March quarter. Unlike GKL, Paradise kept its four casinos open through most of Q1 with its Q2 sequential decline highlighting ongoing operational challenges as a result of international border closures.
South Korea recorded its highest ever daily tally of new COVID-cases last Wednesday with 2,223.