Paradise Co Ltd is likely to be the South Korean casino operator to benefit the most from an anticipated return of Japanese tourists to the country. That is according to a note from Seoul-based brokerage Shinhan Investment Corp.
“We believe Paradise stands to benefit the most among domestic casinos from Japan demand recovery,” wrote analyst Ji InHae, in a report published on Friday.
Paradise Co is one the casino operators in that nation that is only permitted to serve overseas customers on the gaming floor.
She added: “In efforts to secure first-mover advantage ahead of the upturn in demand, Paradise has already dispatched a portion of its marketers to Japan.”
According to Shinhan Investment, expectations “have been growing” in South Korea that there will be a resumption in June of normal passenger flights between that country and Japan. The annual number of flights between the two countries had dropped from around 120,000 in 2019 to fewer than 10,000 in 2021, due to travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, noted the brokerage.
A South Korean delegation sent by recently-elected president Yoon Suk-yeol visited Japan last month. After their return to South Korea, members of the delegation provided “positive comments on the possible resumption of flights, restoration of the visa waiver and expansion of quarantine exemptions between Korea and Japan,” noted Ms Ji in her note.
Mr Yoon took office on Tuesday (May 11) as head of state in South Korea.
“We will need to wait for official announcement on the timing, pace, and extent of the resumption of flights between Korea and Japan, with several variables requiring thorough review,” said Shinhan Investment’s Ms Ji.
She added: “Compared with other domestic [South Korean] casinos, Paradise had relied heavily on inbound travel from Japan before the [Covid-19] pandemic, with Japanese visitors accounting for roughly 35 percent of total VIP drop and more than 40 percent of total table drop including mass customers in 2019.”
Japanese conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings Inc is a partner of Paradise Co in the latter’s largest branded property – Paradise City integrated resort – located on Yeongjong Island in Incheon, near Seoul.
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