Grand Korea Leisure (GKL), the South Korean casino operator, saw its sales number slip in September. In a report filed by the company last week with Korea Stock Exchange, it stated that casino sales dropped by 11.1% for the month, falling to $37.5 million, over the same period last year. Compared to August, the decline was 16.4%.
Table game sales declined substantially in September, dropping 11.7% year-on-year, to only attract $32.9 million for the company. Machine game sales dipped 6.1% year-on-year to around $4.35 million.
GKL operates as a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization, an affiliate of the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It operates three casinos in South Korea under the Seven Luck brand, all of which are open only to foreigners. Two of them are located in Seoul and the third is in the port city of Busan on the country’s southern coast.
Overall, for the first nine months of the year, casino sales managed to tick up a bit. According to GKL, it recorded year-on-year growth of 0.2%, taking in $323.83 million. Table game sales over the period increased by 2.6% to $286.28 million, while machine game sales slipped 15.2% to $37.59 million.
The drop comes after the company experienced a better-than-expected second quarter. It reported at the beginning of August that its second-quarter net income had increased by 76.2% year-on-year, bringing in $24.2 million. During the same period in 2017, it only recorded $13.76 million in net income.
Chinese visitors make up the largest segment of gamblers to South Korea casinos. However, they haven’t been visiting as often this year. This is due in part to spats that have taken place between the two countries’ governments. As the Chinese numbers dropped, the casinos get a little boost thanks to Japanese gamblers in the first six months, but it was short-lived and hasn’t been able to carry forward into the second half of the year.
GKL is also having to compete against Paradise City, the country’s only integrated resort. As a new-ish property—it opened in April 2017—gamblers have opted to visit it for a fresh experience. Paradise City carried a price tag of $1.4 billion and offers amenities not found at any other location in the country.