US missile system sinks South Korean casino revenue

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South Korean casino operator Paradise suffered a 20.7 percent drop in its casino revenue year-on-year over the first six months of 2017, as the installation of a US missile system kept Chinese consumers at bay.

 

The operator’s four venues took KRW241.7bn ($209.4m) compared to KRW304.7bn in H1 2016, according to a report filed with the Korea Exchange on 5 July.

A ban on Chinese travel agencies sending groups to South Korea, decreed in March, has been blamed by analysts.

There was a 64 per-cent decline in Chinese visitors year-on-year in June, according to figures from the state Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO).

Beijing pulled its voracious consumers from South Korea after the country’s decision to host a US missile system pointed at North Korea.

Paradise said: “There are concerns about the Chinese market, but we don’t expect the missile issue to continue in the long term.”

The casino operator said many Chinese high rollers hold multiple citizenships, meaning they can visit in spite of bans.

And a cam-paign by Xi Jinping against displays of wealth by public officials means many still prefer to gamble abroad.

Paradise saw its table game sales fall in 1H 2017 by 21.6 percent year-on-year to approximately KRW224.8bn, from almost KRW286.8bn in the prior-year period.

Machine game sales were less affected, falling by 5.4 percent to slightly over KRW16.9bn.


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