The South Korean holiday island of Jeju has reported that casino sales fell to KRW69.30bn (US$61.5m) in 2020.
South Korea.- Casinos on Jeju island together saw sales decline by 63.6 per cent year-on-year in 2020 to KRW69.30bn (US$61.5m).
That compares to sales of KRW190.0bn (US$168.7m), in 2019, before the global Covid-19 pandemic resulted in lockdowns and restrictions on tourism.
Only four Jeju casinos out of a total of 16 foreigner-only venues remained operational through most of 2020: Paradise Co’s Paradise Casino Jeju Grand, Landing Casino at Jeju Shinhwa World, Casino Lotte Tour at Lotte Hotel Jeju and Gongzi Jeju.
The Jeju Tourism Promotion Fund depends on casino sales as the island’s gaming venues contribute up to 10 per cent of their sales to the fund, accounting for 80 per cent of the fund’s total resources.
Jeju Dream Tower casino approval in doubt
Lotte Tour Development Company had hoped to have the necessary permissions to open its new casino in the Jeju Dream Tower by March, but it appears that’s not going to happen.
The 1,600-room Grand Hyatt hotel was inaugurated with the rest of the tower on December 18, but the casino has not yet launched.
A local citizens’ group has claimed that official public opinion surveys have been manipulated, causing the provincial council to suspend its review of the casino licensing application. It has pledged cooperation with a police investigation.
The Dream Tower foreigner-only casino is due to have 140 gaming tables, 190 slot machines, and 70 electronic gaming machines.