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South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has postponed the deadline for the nation’s casino operators to pay their sales taxes due to the impact on their revenues from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under South Korea’s Tourism Promotion Act, all casino operators are required to pay a tax of around 10% on sales twice each year, in June and September, to the Tourism Promotion Development Fund.

In 2019, those taxes amounted to a combined US$251 million from South Korea’s 17 casinos, however, the Korea Casino Tourism Association has reported that sales from South Korea’s 16 foreigner-only casinos, which exclude Kangwon Land, fell 59% year-on-year from US$1.28 billion in 2019 to US$527 million in 2020. Sales at Kangwon Land, the only Korean casino at which locals are allowed to gamble, fell 68.5% year-on-year to US$433 million.

As a result, the Ministry implemented revisions to the Tourism Promotion Act Enforcement Decree allowing the tax deadline to be postponed for up to one year if any operator finds it difficult to pay the payment.