Paradise Co Ltd, an operator in South Korea of foreigner-only casinos, said in a Wednesday filing that its May casino sales fell 51.2 percent year-on-year.
Such sales were just under KRW29.80 billion (US$24.5 million), compared to KRW61.08 billion in the same month in 2019.
But the sales result was much better than April, when for the first 19 days of the month, three of its four casinos had been closed as part of measures in South Korea to control the spread of Covid-19 infection.
In April, combined casino sales at its four venues – Walkerhill in Seoul (pictured); Jeju Grand on Jeju Island; Busan Casino in the southern port city of Busan; and Paradise City in Incheon - had dipped circa 86 percent to circa KRW7.94 billion, from KRW57.13 billion in April 2019. Paradise Co promotes Paradise City in partnership with a unit of Japanese entertainment conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings Inc.
Gaming operations at the Paradise Co properties had been suspended since March 24 amid the pandemic. The firm reopened its casino on Jeju island on April 13. It resumed operations at its remaining three gaming venues on the South Korean mainland on April 20.
On Wednesday the group reported that for May, table games sales were just under KRW27.32 billion, a 52.4 percent decline on the nearly KRW57.41 billion in the prior-year reporting period.
Gaming machine sales for May amounted to KRW2.48 billion, from just under KRW3.68 billion, a year-on-year dip of 32.4 percent.
Brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said Paradise Co’s figures for May were “quite decent considering the current [health crisis] situation.”
“Put simply, demand from local expats seems to have fully recovered to the pre-pandemic level right off the bat, suggesting pent-up demand is very real; hopefully, this will be replicated in other gaming jurisdictions if and when the business resumes,” said the institution in a Wednesday memo.
Accumulated casino sales for the first five months of 2020 were nearly KRW192.06 billion, versus just under KRW279.61 billion in the same period of 2019, down 31.3 percent.
Aggregate table sales for 2020 up to May 31 were KRW179.67 billion, a fall of 31.1 percent on the nearly KRW260.89 billion a year earlier.
Accumulated gaming machine sales for the first five months were KRW12.38 billion, compared to KRW18.72 billion a year before, a deterioration of 33.9 percent.
(Updated at 9.15am, June 4)
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