Kangwon Land, the only casino in South Korea at which locals are allowed to gamble, reported a net loss of KRW5.8 billion (US$4.5 million) in 1Q22, narrowed from a loss of KRW40.9 billion (US$32.0 million) in the same period last year and almost halved from the KRW11.0 billion (US$8.6 million) loss recorded in the December 2021 quarter.
The improved result came on the back of a 132.8% year-on-year increase in sales to KRW226.9 billion (US$177.4 million), of which gaming comprised KRW192.2 billion (US$150.2 million) – up KRW125.0%. Gaming sales were, however, down 10.5% on 4Q21.
Issuing its Q1 results on Wednesday, Kangwon Land said the majority of its gains were made in the mass market segment, with mass tables recording a 146.8% year-on-year increase in GGR to KRW93.7 billion (US$73.2 million) and slot machines a 171.0% increase to KRW88.2 billion (US$68.9 million).
Kangwon Land’s “Membership Club” recorded an 11.8% increase in GGR to KRW31.1 billion (US$24.3 million). The combined drop amount across all segments grew by 139.4% to KRW998.6 billion (US$780.6 million), while total visitor numbers reached 356,923 compared with 87,217 in 1Q21 and 303,341 in 4Q21. Notably, only 2,611 of the quarter’s visitors were listed as foreigners.
Kangwon Land also revealed that its contribution to the “Fund for abandoned mine” was 131.8% higher year-on-year at KRW27.7 billion (US$21.7 million), with a Tourism Fund contribution of KRW20.8 billion (US$16.3 million).
Located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Seoul, Kangwon Land – the only South Korean casino at which locals are allowed to gamble – was borne out of Korea’s conversion to gas and oil for energy, leading to the closure of mines in Gangwon province in 1989.
Legislation in 1995 encouraged redevelopment of abandoned mining areas, prompting local, provincial and national authorities to found Kangwon Land Inc, which is 51% government owned and overseen by the national Ministry of Knowledge Economy.