Portuguese football manager José Mourinho is the face of the new advertising campaign of South Korean casino operator Paradise Co.
The company expects the increasing popularity of football in China – and of England’s Premier League, where Mr Mourinho heads Chelsea FC – can help lure more gamblers to its casinos in South Korea.
“The growing interest in football in China, and the fact that a significant number of casino customers are Chinese, was the main reason behind naming Mourinho as the model,” Paradise said in a statement quoted by Reuters.
The company did not disclose how much it paid Mr Mourinho, who replaced Hollywood superstar Robert De Niro as Paradise’s brand ambassador. Prior to that, Irish actor Pierce Brosnan was Paradise’s brand ambassador.
Paradise is building a US$1.7 billion casino resort in the coastal city of Incheon, near South Korea’s main airport. The property, to be ready by 2017, is a joint venture with Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings Inc.
Paradise runs five foreigners-only casinos in South Korea.
Korean casinos currently only permit foreigners to gamble, except at Kangwon Land, a difficult-to-access location 150 kilometres (93 miles) southeast of Seoul in Gangwon Province.
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"We forecast Grand Lisboa Palace will have EBITDA of HKD2.0 billion (US$260 million) with 330 tables by 2022, and HKD3.5 billion with 380 tables by 2023"
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings