Kangwon Land, the only casino in South Korea at which locals are permitted to gamble, reported a 59.2% increase in gaming revenue to KRW306 billion (US$231 million) in the March 2023 quarter, led by gains in the mass market segment. Casino sales were also 4.0% higher than in 4Q22, helping push consolidated sales to KRW358.1 billion (US$271 million).
According to the company’s Q1 financials, mass tables were the primary contributor with gross gaming revenue of KRW167.6 billion (US$127 million), up 78.9% year-on-year. Slot machine revenue also grew by 57.2% to KRW38.7 billion (US$29.2 million) although Membership Club GGR fell by 2.3% to KRW30.4 billion (US$23.0 million).
Non-gaming sales of KRW52.1 billion (US$39.4 million) was 50.4% higher year-on-year and 28.3% sequentially, primarily comprising hotel, condo and ski sales. Visitor numbers, the company added, reached 624,557 for the quarter, representing a 75% increase on 1Q22 and considerably higher than the 573,678 who visited in 4Q22.
The increase in Q1 sales saw Kangwon Land turn a 1Q22 net loss of KRW5.8 billion (US$4.4 million) into a net profit of KRW101.5 billion (US$76.7 million). This was also over 1,000% higher than the December 2022 quarter.
Located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Seoul, Kangwon Land 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.
Aside from its casino operations, the company also runs a slot machine brand and recently announced plans to expand distribution across Southeast Asia, including into the Philippines.