Chinese tourists brought big money to local casinos, whose sales and net profits leaped in the first quarter, industry data showed Wednesday.
Paradise Group, the country’s biggest casino operator, posted 170.55 billion won ($166.8 million) in sales in the January-March period, up 17.7 percent from a year ago, with its net profit reaching 47.3 billion won, up 71.8 percent.
Its operating profit, however, fell 8.8 percent to 32 billion won due to a rise in fixed costs and facility renovations.
The figures reflect the financial results of Paradise and its subsidiaries.
The robust performance stemmed from a 37.9 percent gain in drops, the money or credit exchanged for chips, by Chinese VIPs, at the company’s three casinos in Seoul, Incheon and the country’s southern resort island of Jejudo.
Grand Korea Leisure Co., a casino unit of the state-run Korea Tourism Organization, recorded 139.1 billion won in sales in the first quarter, up 5.5 percent from a year ago, also thanks to Chinese tourists, with its operating profit rising 14.9 percent to 47.1 billion won.
Kangwon Land, the only casino open to locals, also staged a brisk first-quarter performance with a rise in the number of Chinese gamblers there. The casino is located in Jeongseon, Gangwon Province, some 214 kilometers east of Seoul.
Kangwon Land’s operating profit rose 16.3 percent on-year to 137.6 billion won in the first quarter, with its sales rising 9.1 percent to 373.3 billion won. (Yonhap)