Home » Commercial Casino » South Korea’s Casino Sector: Significant 40.7% Increase in Gambling Revenue

In a striking demonstration of resilience and growth, South Korea’s casino industry has reported a remarkable increase in revenues, showing a strong recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

According to recently released data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the total gambling revenue for 2023 soared by 40.7 percent year-on-year, reaching nearly KRW2.73 trillion (approximately US$1.98 billion), up from KRW1.94 trillion in the preceding year. The figures collate earnings from the nation’s 16 casinos that are exclusive to foreign visitors and Kangwon Land—the sole casino in South Korea where the local populace is permitted to gamble.

Utility and attractions in the casino sector expanded last year with the opening of Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in Incheon. While the property’s non-gaming amenities were accessible from November, the designated foreigner-only casino launched operations in February 2023, further invigorating the industry’s growth. Reflecting almost a full recovery, last year’s collective revenue accounted for 93.1 percent of the pre-pandemic figures, which stood just over KRW2.93 trillion in 2019.

An extraordinary upsurge was seen in the foreigner-only casinos, where the year-on-year gambling revenue for 2023 jumped by approximately 96.9 percent to KRW1.41 trillion, drastically up from KRW714.5 billion in 2022. This segment nearly reached its pre-COVID-19 figures, recovering 97.1 percent of the gambling revenue recorded in 2019, which was around KRW1.45 trillion.

Kangwon Land also showed positive momentum with a revenue increment of about 7.9 percent in 2023 compared to the year before, registering approximately KRW1.32 trillion up from KRW1.22 trillion. This indicated that Kangwon Land has regained about 89.1 percent of its 2019 gambling revenue.

In 2023, the aggregate number of visits to South Korea’s casinos rose sharply by about 40.5 percent, totaling nearly 4.48 million visits compared to just under 3.19 million in 2022. Visitor traffic at foreigner-only venues accounted for nearly 46.1 percent of all 2023 casino visits, summing up to just under 2.07 million. This highlights the robust demand and sustained interest in gambling among international tourists in South Korea. The released data by the ministry excludes figures for bad debt, complimentary allowances, and commissions, providing net revenue numbers that offer a clearer picture of the industry’s financial health as compared to the gross figures reported by individual operators.

Specifically, Paradise Co Ltd, a prominent promoter for foreign visitors-only casinos, observed its gaming revenue skyrocket by 113.0 percent year-on-year in 2023, reaching KRW744.6 billion compared to KRW349.5 billion in 2022. Another major player, Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd (GKL), also reported a significant revenue rise of 49.8 percent year-on-year in 2023 with earnings of KRW397.4 billion, up from KRW265.2 billion in 2022.
These robust performance indices not only demonstrate a positive trajectory for individual operators but also signify a broader post-pandemic economic recovery in South Korea’s entertainment and hospitality sectors. The casino industry’s resurgence is indicative of the returning confidence among international tourists and underscores the potential for future growth and investment in South Korea’s vibrant gaming and leisure market.

News source: https://www.ggrasia.com/s-korea-casino-revenue-us2bln-in-2023-up-41pct-y-o-y/

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