CASINO

Infectious diseases can’t hurt Kangwon Land; NagaCorp drops Korean casino bid

TAGs: Kangwon Land, NagaCorp, South Korea

kangwon-land-naracorp-south-korea-casinoSouth Korea’s Kangwon Land casino has demonstrated that the best defense against infectious disease may be a monopoly.

Kangwon Land, the only one of South Korea’s 17 casinos that permits local residents to gamble, says its profits rose 12.8% to KRW 119b (US $102.4m) in the three months ending Sept. 30.

In a filing with the Korean stock exchange, Kangwon Land says its Q3 revenue rose 5% year-on-year, while sales and profits were up 22.2% and 6.3% respectively on a sequential basis. For the year-to-date, revenue is up 9.3% to KRW 1.23t and profit is up 11.8% to KRW 349b.

Kangwon Land’s numbers are all the more impressive given the poor showings from rivals like Grand Korea Leisure and Paradise Co Ltd, both of which must rely on a steady stream of international passport holders flowing through their doors. That stream slowed to a trickle this year after the country suffered an outbreak of Middle East Respinatory Syndrome, and while the crisis has abated, tourist numbers have yet to regain their former glories.

Good news is not in short supply at Kangwon Land, which recently received recognition as one of the planet’s most sustainable businesses due to its corporate social responsibility and consumer-friendly practices. This is the third straight year that Kangwon Land has made the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World, which ranks the performance of the world’s top 2,500 listed companies.

NAGACORP WITHDRAWS FROM SOUTH KOREA CASINO DERBY
Meanwhile, Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp, which operates the NagaWorld property in Phnom Penh and is building a casino in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone, has joined the list of firms withdrawing their names from consideration in the fight to win one of the last two integrated resorts licenses South Korea intends to issue.

NagaCorp filed papers with the Hong Kong exchange on Thursday, saying “analysis and consideration” had led it to conclude that the bid was “not in line with the company’s policy of selective expansion as the economic return of such investment did not meet its benchmark.”

A total of 34 applicants had expressed interest in the South Korean derby, but with the Nov. 27 deadline for submitting detailed proposals approaching rapidly, cold feet are growing colder. Grand Korea Leisure withdrew its own Incheon-area bid earlier this week.

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