POWER SCORE: 893
POSITION LAST YEAR: 31
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Paradise City, Korea’s first US$1 billion-plus integrated resort, turning consistently profitable in third year of operation
- Leads foreigner-only casino market with locations in Seoul, Incheon, Busan and Jeju
They say timing is everything, and in that regard Phillip Chun’s Paradise Group hasn’t had much luck since launching its US$1.37 billion integrated resort Paradise City into the teeth of a Sino-Korean diplomatic row in April 2017.
Located in Incheon near the South Korean capital of Seoul, Paradise City – a 55%-45% joint venture with Japanese gaming manufacturer Sega Sammy – was finally starting to turn profitable late last year before COVID-19 brought a sudden halt to momentum.
With South Korea being one of the first countries outside of mainland China to feel the full force of the pandemic in March, Chun’s Paradise Co closed down its four foreigner-only casinos – which also include Paradise Walkerhill, Busan Casino and Jeju Grand – for about a month but business has remained slow since reopening with sales declines in excess of 70%.
Outside of a small expat community that has kept the business interested, the medium-term outlook remains sketchy given the reliance on international visitation. Longer-term, Paradise is relying on its better than 50% share of Korea’s foreigner-only casino market to drive it forward, but the prospect of Japan opening its own IRs eventually remains a risk.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.