South Korean foreigner-only casino operator Paradise Co saw its casino revenue surge in December, rising 331.5% on November numbers to KRW42.22 billion (US$38.8 million).
While that figure was still down 39.4% year-on-year, it represented a substantial improvement on any monthly revenue reports since February 2020 when the company booked casino revenue of KRW64.30 billion (US$53.9 million).
Paradise didn’t provide a reason for the sudden increase in December although it appears to have run lucky given that table drop was up only 8.8% sequentially to KRW151.94 billion (US$139.7 million). The company’s ability to produce any revenue at all during COVID-19 has been credited to local expats for bringing in a small but steady stream of business to its four casinos – Paradise City, Paradise Walkerhill, Busan Casino and Jeju Grand.
All four briefly closed in late March with Jeju Grand reopening on 13 April and the remaining three on 20 April.
Paradise Walkerhill also suspended operations on Tuesday 15 December in response to the latest wave of COVID-19 infections across South Korea, which resulted in the government increasing the alert level for Greater Seoul to level 2.5 – the second highest of the nation’s five-tier alert level system.
Notably, Paradise Walkerhill reopened this week despite the government extending the current 2.5 alert level for Greater Seoul until 17 January. In a notice posted on the casino’s website, Paradise Walkerhill said it was open to customers as of 7am on Monday 4 January but that “only customers with negative corona test results are allowed to enter.” Customers must provide documents obtained within the past week from health agencies or hospitals, it added.
Despite the recent closure period, Paradise Co produced a strong finish to 2020 with table games revenue rising 411.3% sequentially to KRW40.82 billion (US$37.5 million).
For the full year, casino revenue fell 57.2% to KRW335.29 billion (US$308.3 million).