Drop in South Korean casino workforce

Casinos were deeply affected by the lack of tourists amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Casinos were deeply affected by the lack of tourists amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of staff at major South Korean casinos has fallen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

South Korea.- Three of South Korea’s largest casino operators have seen a reduction in their workforce over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a report from Yonhap News Agency, the staff at Kangwon Land, the only casino that caters to South Koreans, had a workforce of 3,858 in December, down 25 per cent from two years ago.

Meanwhile, Grand Korea Leisure Co’s workforce has fallen 10.4 per cent over the past two years. The company operates two venues in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and one in Busan, both under the Seven Luck brand. Finally, Paradise Co Ltd saw its workforce decline 5.3 per cent in the last two years.

In 2021, South Korea’s 16 foreign-only casinos saw their revenue drop by nearly 31.9 per cent when compared to the previous year, coming in at KRW407.13bn. Total casino revenue was down 59.7 per cent compared to KRW2.93tn in 2019, the most recent trading year before the Covid-19 pandemic hit travel and tourism.

GKL reported a net loss of KRW113.27bn (US$94.7m) and an operating loss of KRW145.83bn in 2021, compared with KRW88.81bn the previous year. However, in March the company reported one of its best months for sales since the Covid-19 pandemic began with sales of KRW29.72bn (US$24.4m) 

Paradise Co casino revenue was down 25.7 per cent in 2021 when compared to the previous year, falling from KRW335.97bn to KRW249.76bn (US$208.8m).

In February, Kangwon Land posted a net loss of KRW11bn (US$9.2m) for the fourth quarter ended December 31. GGR for the quarter was KRW236.9bn, up 87.5 per cent year-on-year.

Of the total GGR registered, KRW98.1bn came from mass gaming tables while slot machines generated KRW96.1bn. VIP players generated KRW42.8bn. Kangwon Land registered total sales of KRW242.1bn, down 1.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter and up 84.4 per cent from 2020.

Kangwon Land has been allowed to extend its operating hours to 14 hours with a maximum of 3,000 customers.

South Korea eases Covid-19 countermeasures

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased social distancing rules slightly across the country from April 1. Authorities said that if the number of new infections in South Korea declines in the coming weeks, it will be possible to limit mask mandates to indoor spaces only.

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