South Korean casinos continue to struggle due to pandemic

By Violeta Prockyte

Casinos meant for the foreign nationals in the island of Jeju, South Korea, are on the verge of bankruptcy.


The Jeju Tourism Association announced 2,746 guests visited the island in June, with lesser numbers in May and April. It’s an almost 99% drop in visitors compared to the previous year and is a direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The island has eight casinos, four of which are temporarily closed down, and the remaining operate with reduced working hours and staff.


The casinos earned only KRW4.8bn ($4m) in monthly gross sales in March, KRW5.9bn in April and KRW3.6bn in May, an almost 30% drop compared to the previous year. 


Casinos in Juju island are not the only ones losing money.


Grand Korea Leisure reported a 66% drop in casino sales for the month of July, earning KRW14.19bn. The earnings rise by 14% compared to KRW12.48bn in June. 


The casino experienced a 68% drop in table game sales to KRW11.67bn compared to 2019.


EGM sales went down by 47% to KRW2.53bn. Table drop brought in KRW101.89bn, 6% less than in June. 


The casino sales for H1 2020 fell by 45% year-on-year earning Grand Korea Leisure KRW147.26bn. Table drop brought in KRW1.08 trillion ($904m) 
Dropping numbers for Grand Korea Leisure can also be attributed to the global pandemic and ongoing travel and operational restrictions.   


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