It would seem that the gambling industry only has so much wealth to spread around in South Korea. Grand Korea Leisure Ltd (GKL) has reported a year over year decline of 12.7% in February, GGRAsia reports.
In total, the company had casino sales of KRW31.82 billion (US$28.1 million). That number also represented an 8.3% decrease when compared to January. The biggest culprit for the decline was a 14.2% decrease in table game sales, but machine game sales also fell by 3.1%.
This isn’t just a bad for GKL, it’s a blow for Korea. The operator, who runs three foreigner-only casinos in the country, is part of the Korea Tourism Organization, a body with close ties to South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Even though this was a decrease from January, February wasn’t much better. Overall, 2019 income is down 18.8% year over year, again largely due to table games, which is down 20.9% year over year.
Going back to late 2018 doesn’t make things any better either. GKL reported in February that the final quarter of 2018 saw their income drop as much as 50%.
That doesn’t mean the entire industry is struggling. Very recently, rival Paradise Co reported a 28.5% increase year over year for the month of February, bringing in nearly twice the sales when compared to GKL with KRW55.83 billion (US$49.6 million).
The story told of the two operators is either that Paradise Co are that much better at bringing in customers, or there just aren’t enough tourists in South Korea to fill that many casinos. Whatever the case may be, Paradise Co is not resting on their laurels, signing deals to bring in even more tourists.
GKL will need to start considering what they can do to compete long term. Their revenues have been inconsistent for quite some time now, riding highs and lows for years now. They haven’t made any big strategy announcements since partnering with Dragon Inc. to add crypto payments for their VIP rooms. They’ll need to do much more than that to start creating increases in the coming months.