South Korean casino operator, Paradise Co has appointed Choi Sung-wook as its new CEO. He will join the board having served most recently as CEO of the Paradise casino in Busan and replace Park Byung-ryong on an initial two year term.
The company currently operates four foreigner-only casinos in the nation; Paradise City (pictured), Paradise Walkerhill, Busan Casino and Jeju Grand. The latter reported a loss of $100m in 2020, as international travel bans in place throughout most of the year proved detrimental.
Half of Korea’s 16 foreigner-only casinos are located on the island of Jeju, and between them saw a 65% year-on-year revenue drop to KRW69.30bn ($61.5m).
Choi will have much to contend with in his new role, but can take a small amount of solace from the recent announcement that Korean casino operators will not have to make obligatory sales tax payments for at least 12 months.
The reprieve will be a welcome one in the short term, but either the opening of all venues to locals, or a drop in international travel restrictions will be necessary for the market to return to a profitable state.
South Korea’s casinos reported a year on year revenue drop of 59% across 2020, with figures galling from KRW1.45tn to KEW598.3bn.