Two of South Korea’s foreigner-only casino operators reported a very strong increase in revenues for January, 2020. According to data revealed on February 4, Paradise Co Ltd reported a 28.3% increase year over year. Meanwhile, Grand Korea Leisure Ltd (GKL) saw casino revenues increase by 57.2%.
At Paradise, the total January revenue reached nearly KRW72.0 billion ($60.63 million). Table revenue in January rose by 30.6% over the previous year, reaching KRW68.09 billion, a nearly KRW8 billion increase over January 2019. Slot machine revenue saw a minor decline of 1.7%, reaching just KRW3.91 billion.
At GKL, total casino sales hit KRW54.58 billion ($46.17) in January. Table revenues were at KRW49.01 billion, a whopping 63.7% increase over the previous year. Machine revenues also saw a significant increase, rising 16.9% to KRW5.57 billion.
The two casino operators are continuing hot streaks from the end of 2019. Both reported strong November revenue increases, as Paradise saw an increase of 31.6% over the same period in 2018, while GKL saw an increase of 8.2%.
Paradise is the operator of four casinos in Korea – Paradise Walker-hill, Jeju Grand, Busan Casino, and Paradise City. GKL is run by the South Korean government, operates three venues.
While the increase in revenues is positive news for both casino operators, travel restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus will likely decrease the number of tourists coming to the facilities. Already, the two operators have banned entry to tourist groups from China, a major source of revenue in recent years.
South Korea reported 16 cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday. In response, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-Kyun announced this past Sunday that foreign nationals who have traveled to China’s Hubei province within the past two weeks will be barred from entering the country. These restrictions took effect on Tuesday and will be in effect indefinitely.