Casino revenue at South Korea’s foreigner-only casino operator Paradise Co Ltd fell 8.4 percent year-on-year in August, according to a Wednesday filing by the company to the Korea Exchange.
Such revenue was approximately KRW53.09 billion (US$47 million), compared to nearly KRW57.98 billion in August 2016.
August 2017 table revenue slipped 11.7 percent, to just under KRW49.06 billion, from KRW55.54 billion in the equivalent month a year earlier.
But machine revenue rose 65.5 percent in August this year, to nearly KRW4.04 billion, from just under KRW2.44 billion in August 2016.
For the first eight months of 2017, Paradise Co’s aggregate casino revenue was down 16.4 percent from the prior-year period, to just under KRW344.25 billion, from KRW411.82 billion in the prior-year period.
Table revenue in the calendar year to August 31 was down 17.6 percent year-on-year, to KRW319.91 billion – from KRW388.05 billion – while machine revenue for that period was up 2.4 percent year-on-year, to KRW24.33 billion, from KRW23.77 billion.
No commentary on the reasons for year-on-year revenue fluctuations is given in the company’s monthly updates. But the firm might have been unlucky in hold performance for table games in August, as table drop – the amount of cash exchanged for chips by customers at the table – actually rose 24.4 percent year-on-year during the month, to KRW472.45 billion. For the first eight months of 2017, table drop was up a more modest 1.8 percent, to KRW3.27 trillion.
Paradise Co’s latest casino figures are based on the results of four venues it operates in its casino business division, all of them foreigner-only casinos. They are: Walkerhill (pictured) in Seoul; Jeju Grand on Jeju Island; Busan Casino in the southern port city of Busan; and Paradise City, in Incheon, near the main international airport serving the country’s capital Seoul. The first phase of Paradise City – a venture between Paradise Co and Japanese pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc – opened on April 20.
The Korea Tourism Organization has not yet released inbound tourism data for August. Declines in Paradise Co’s table games revenue have nonetheless coincided with a political crisis on the Korean peninsula, which has seen neighbouring North Korea conduct a series of missile tests and seen the United States, South Korea’s main military ally, conduct in August previously-scheduled military exercises with its treaty partner.
Heightened military tension between North and South Korea has come at a time when relations between South Korea and China – the latter in recent years a major source of inbound tourism to South Korea – appeared to be warming after a spat over a July 2016 decision by South Korea to deploy on its soil, and therefore close to Chinese territory, the U.S.-supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system.
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