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Pent-up demand among expats boosts May revenue for Korea’s Paradise Co

Korea’s leading foreigner-only casino operator, Paradise Co, reported casino revenue of KRW29.80 billion (US$24.5 million) in May, down 51.2% year-on-year but considerably higher than the KRW7.94 billion (US$6.5 million) in April revenue following the reopening of the company’s four properties.

Table game revenue was down 52.4% year-on-year to KRW27.32 billion  (US$22.5 million) with machine sales down 32.4% to KRW2.48 billion (US$2 million). For the first five months of 2020 combined, Paradise has seen its revenue decline 31.3% to KRW192.06 billion.

Table drop in May was down 68.7% year-on-year to KRW183.33 billion (US$150.8 million) while for the year to date it has fallen 48.2% to KRW1.40 trillion (US$1.15 billion).

With Korea’s borders still closed due to COVID-19, JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Jeremy An described the results as “quite decent considering the current situation,” pointing to pent-up demand amongst local expats as the key driver of recovery.

“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,” they said.

Paradise closed Paradise City, Paradise Walkerhill, Busan Casino and Jeju Grand on 23 March due to COVID-19, later reopening Jeju Grand on 13 April and the remaining three on 20 April – the first of Korea’s casinos to restart operations.

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