Leading South Korean foreigner-only casino operator Paradise Co has reported a loss of KRW59.21 billion (US$53 million) in 4Q20, pushing the company’s loss for the full year out to a sizeable KRW109.85 billion (US$98.4 million).
The challenging finish to an already difficult year came amid a nationwide tightening of COVID-19 restrictions from November as a third wave of the virus swept across the country. Those restrictions included limits on capacity at most Paradise properties and the closure of its Seoul casino, Paradise Walkerhill, for three weeks from mid-December.
Paradise operates four casinos in South Korea: Paradise City, Paradise Walkerhill, Busan Casino and Jeju Grand.
While the company’s 4Q20 loss was substantially higher than the loss of KRW16.3 billion (US$14.6 million) in the September quarter, casino sales were actually 15.5% higher at KRW104.59 billion, although 61.2% down on casino sales of KRW269.45 billion in 4Q19.
But profit from continuing operations fell substantially to KRW86.83 billion, likely from increased costs around ongoing operations. Paradise did not provide any reasoning for the substantial decline in income for the quarter, having staged a minor recovery of sorts earlier last year that was credited to the local expat community.
The company had earlier last year closed all of its properties from late March, with Jeju Grand reopening on 13 April and the three mainland Korean properties on 20 April.
Paradise City, the company’s integrated resort project in Incheon, was also closed for a week in early September after some staff members tested positive to COVID-19.