Revenues rise for Koreas Paradise, GKL in August as restrictions extended in Seoul

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South Korean foreigner-only casino operators, Paradise Co and Grand Korea Leisure, both saw revenues rise in August with good luck appearing to drive the former to its best monthly result since February 2020.

Having booked casino revenue of KRW6.95 billion (US$6.0 million) in July, Paradise reported a 762% month-on-month improvement in revenue in August its best monthly result since reporting revenue of KRW64.30 billion (US$53.9 million) early last year. The August figure was also 244% higher than the KRW17.29 billion (US$15.0 million) reported in August 2020.

Although Paradise which operates Paradise Walkerhill in Seoul, Jeju Grand, Busan Casino Paradise and Paradise City in Incheon did not specify any reasons for the dramatic rise, it appears to be largely down to good fortune with table drop up just 28.0% versus July to KRW183.86 billion.

Table games contributed the majority of revenue, up 10-fold to KRW57.49 billion (US$49.8 million)versus a slight 4.2% increase in gaming machine revenue to KRW2.0 billion (US$1.7 million), pushing casino revenue for the first seven months of 2021 to KRW178.96 billion (US$155.0 million) down 25.6% year-on-year.

Grand Korea Leisure saw a more subdued increase, with casino sales up 16.6% in August, down 31.0% year-on-year, to KRW8.80 billion (US$7.6 million)with table games up 18.5% to KRW7.21 billion (US$6.2 million)and gaming machines up 7.8% to KRW1.60 billion (US$1.4 million).

Table drop grew 4.5% versus July to KRW71.59 billion (US$62.0 million).

GKL operates two casinos in Seoul and one in Busan under its Seven Luck brand.

Both companies continue to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Paradise twice closing Paradise Walkerhill in Seoul in August for cleaning due to confirmed COVID-19 infections.

Their August results come as South Korea announced over the weekend an extension of its toughest Level 4 restrictions in the Greater Seoul area for four more weeks due to COVID-19, with a seven-day average of 1,709 cases as of Friday. The nations highest ever daily tally of 2,223 was recorded on 11 August.