POWER SCORE: 828
POSITION LAST YEAR: 29
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Opened South Korea’s first true integrated resort, Paradise City, in 2017
- Leads foreigner-only casino market with locations in Seoul, Incheon, Busan and Jeju
PARADISE GROUP CHAIRMAN Phillip Chun took over the family’s business after the passing of his father, Chun Rak-won, in 2004, and although he has battled relentless headwinds in recent years, he has also exhibited similar ambition to that of the generation before him.
That much was evident when Chun launched art-themed integrated resort Paradise City in Incheon in 2017. Coming at a cost of US$1.37 billion, Paradise City was the first true integrated resort to be built in North Asia but has had little opportunity to show its potential.
Opened in the midst of a Sino-Korean diplomatic row that saw China put a halt to the huge volumes of visitors that usually cross the border, the IR has only briefly toyed with profitability in the nearly five years since. Paradise City is one of four foreigner-only casinos owned by the company and all four have felt the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a US$100 million loss in 2020 and no sign of recovery any time soon.
No doubt Chun, who alongside wife Elizabeth is a passionate art collector, will be hoping China’s passion for leisure will prove strong when borders reopen, bolstering revenue from the small expat community in Korea that has helped keep the business ticking over in the past two years.
For the full list of 2021 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.