The casino industry suffered setbacks throughout the world and gambling hubs like Macau and Las Vegas reported significant declines in revenues during 2014. South Korea appears to be completely immune from such market fluctuations as the recent report released by the government confirm that the gambling in South Korea has increased for the ninth consecutive year.
The annual gambling revenue was up by 1% when compared to 2013 and the amount of revenue generated was KRW19.87 trillion. Kangwon Land, the only casino in South Korea where locals are permitted to gamble also did reasonably well and increased its revenue by 10% year over year. The South Korean gambling market is expected to grow even more in 2015 as gamblers from northern China are being wooed by extremely attractive deals, and continue to avoid Macau.
It had been speculated that Kangwon Land’s meteoric net income rise of 70% in 15Q4 was due to increased traffic from Chinese high-rollers. That speculation seemed odd with the casino being the only venue for Korean Nationals. The discovery that the nearby Yangyang International Airport had been granted permission to offer visa-less visits since last April, along with the continued crackdown on Macau VIPs by mainland China seems to have confirm those suspicions.