Japanese tourists have been throwing a lifeline at South Korea’s foreigners-only casino sector amid the on-going diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing.
Korean news site Yonhap reported that revenues of the country’s foreigners-only casinos jumped 15.9 percent to KRW204.78 billion ($191.56 million) in the first quarter of 2018, despite the continuing dip in the number of tourists from China.
“Chinese visitors are still the biggest group of customers at foreigners-only casinos, but their number continues to fall,” an unnamed casino industry official said, according to the news outlet. “We are seeing a turnaround this year, thanks to a steady increase of tourists from Japan.”
Fueling the revenue growth of foreigners-only casinos are Japanese tourists, according to the Korea Casino Association.