Pachinko operator Okura to close two halls due to poor performance since COVID

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Japanese pachinko hall operator Okura Holdings Ltd has announced the permanent closure of two pachinko halls due to deteriorating performance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The companys Ks Plaza Mikatsuki hall in Saga Prefecture and Big Apple YOUPARK Motosumiyoshi hall in Kanagawa Prefecture will both cease operations as of Monday 10 May 2021 with the company stating that the locations had been unable to recover satisfactory customer traffic when compared to some of Okuras other pachinko halls, which have gradually managed to regain customer traffic since the latter half of 2020.

Ks Plaza Mikatsuki accounted for 40.8% of the groups losses in the six months to 31 December 2020 with a loss of JPY14.7 million (US$135,000), while Big Apple YOUPARK Motosumiyoshi accounted for 22.2% with a loss of JPY 8.0 million (US$74,000).

Taking into account the general adverse operating landscape and the intense competition in the pachinko industry, the management considered that it will be more beneficial for the Group to focus its resources on the more promising pachinko halls by enhancing customer experience there and minimize further losses by closing down the pachinko halls with weaker performance, Okura said.

The Directors believe that such streamlining of resources and operations will help stabilize and improve the Groups financial performance in the long run, and is in the best interests of the Group and the Shareholders as a whole.

Okura added that it expects to record a small loss on the disposal of the assets of the two halls, which will be recognized for the year ending 30 June 2021.

The closures, which leave Okura with 15 pachinko halls in the Kyushu, Kanto, Kansai and Chugoku regions of Japan,come as the Japanese government announced Friday a three-week extension to the nations state of emergency aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.

The state of emergency, covering the Greater Tokyo area, has also been expanded to Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures until at least 31 May.