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Grand Korea Leisure appoints new CEO

Kim Young-San has been appointed as the new chief executive of Grand Korea Leisure (GKL), the foreign-player-only casino operator in South Korea.

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Kim is replacing Yoo Tae-Yeol, who took up the position in 2018. The appointment was confirmed after an extraordinary shareholders meeting. His term is scheduled to last for three years, although the operator hasn't provided the date of when he would take office.

According to GKL, Kim has currently held the position of Vice-chairman of the Korea Casino Association since 2019.

He was also a former director of the Culture and Arts Policy Office of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism from 2016 to 2019.

Kim’s appointment came with a recommendation from the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. GKL is a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization and is, in turn, linked with the Ministry.

GKL operates three foreign-player-only casinos under the Seven Luck brand, two in Seoul and one in Busan. Recently, the company posted financial results for Q2 2021, with a net loss of KRW18.1bn ($15.5m).

The figures marked a year-on-year improvement from 2020 when loss was KRW37.4bn. Sales for the quarter were KRW32.98bn, a 42% year-on-year growth.

It’s also a 526% increase from Q1 2021, mostly due to the casino closures that took place at the beginning of the year.

Reportedly, during the time, Jeon Byung-Geuk, formerly affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, has been requested to lead Grand Korea Leisure’s Innovation Management Division, to help the company through the crucial period of dealing with the pandemic.

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