Jan 07, 2016 Newsdesk Latest News, Rest of Asia, Top of the deck
Casino sales at South Korean casino operator Paradise Co Ltd fell 14.7 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year, the firm said in a filing to the Korea Exchange on Tuesday.
Such sales amounted to KRW569.9 billion (US$474.1 million) in 2015, compared to nearly KRW668.4 billion in 2014.
Table game sales accounted for 93.2 percent of the group’s total casino sales last year, at approximately KRW531.2 billion. Table sales fell 15.9 percent year-on-year.
Gaming machine sales for 2015 rose 4.4 percent, to nearly KRW38.8 billion.
For December 2015, the group’s total casino sales were down 25.1 percent year-on-year, to KRW41.7 billion.
The stock price of Paradise Co declined by 25 percent last year. On November 5, the firm reported third quarter net profit that was 46 percent down on the prior-year period.
Also in November, the firm announced president Park Pyung-yong had been named co-chief executive of the company, working in that capacity with the existing CEO, Lee Hyuk-byung.
Paradise Co currently operates a network of five foreigners-only casinos located in three major cities in South Korea and on the country’s holiday island of Jeju.
The firm is building a casino resort at Incheon, near the country’s capital Seoul. The operator has linked with Japanese pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc, breaking ground in November 2014 on a site referred to as Paradise City. The project, with a total area of 330,000 square metres (3.55 million sq feet), is presented in its official website as having a price ticket of KRW1.3 trillion and featuring 160 casino live table games, 388 electronic table games and 350 slot machines.
A number of investment analysts have highlighted that 16 out of South Korea’s 17 casinos are limited to serving foreigners only, pointing out that mainland Chinese players are a key target market for the foreigners-only venues.
In October, Reuters news agency reported – quoting China’s state television – that mainland Chinese police had arrested 13 foreigners and several Chinese agents inside China for activities related to recruitment of Chinese citizens for the purposes of gambling in South Korean casinos.
In August, mainland China news outlet China News Service reported that China’s Ministry of Public Security had started an operation called “Chain Break” – said to be aimed at disrupting foreign casinos’ access to money flows from China and those casinos’ links to individuals that scout for gamblers from China.
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