In this year’s second quarter, South Korean operator Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd.’s (114090.KS) net income rose to KRW25.6bn (US$23.1m), a year-on-year increase of 38.1 percent, according to a G3 Newswire report.

The operator of the foreigners-exclusive Seven Luck Casino, which has branches in South Korea, including Busan Lotte, Seoul Gangnam, and Millennium Seoul Hilton, reported revenue of KRW 129bn, an increase of 5.4 percent for the period. Compared to last year’s KRW 31.4bn, operating income rose by 44.8 percent.

The substantial increase in revenue was benefitted from coming off of a low base year when along with the government of China’s austerity measures initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping which cut billions in public spending, an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) hit operations hard.

The Company, which also has overseas offices in Macao and Japan believes that going forward, growth in casino revenues will be stable. Grand Korea Leisure was founded in 2005 and is a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization.

In other South Korea news, recently, the People’s Party, is pushing for a revised gambling bill which the objective is to gain approval for a second casino to allow locals to gamble. The country’s minority opposition party wants a new casino to be opened in the Saemangeum Development Area (SDA). The SDA, which is located in Jeolla’s southwestern province and about four hours from Seoul, is one of the eight free economic zones in South Korea.

Of the country’s 17 casinos, locals are only permitted to gamble at the Kangwon Land Casino & Hotel in Kangwon province, operated by Kangwon Land Inc. The company is not happy about the proposal and recently issued a statement voicing its opposition. Allowing the casino to offer nationals gambling options is the 1995 Special Law on the Abandoned Mining Area, which was created to help revive the economy in the Kangwon province after the mining industry was shut down. The casino’s monopoly could end in 2025 when its license is due to expire.

During the last couple of years, South Korea’s casino industry has continued to thrive as it has benefitted from the substantial decline in Macau’s casino industry.

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