Despite the decreased influx of Chinese tourists, South Korea’s Paradise City casino resort is gearing up to welcome an estimated 1.5 million visitors in 2017.
The glitzy $1.1 billion Paradise City, considered to be the first Las Vegas-style integrated resort in Northeast Asia, opened at Yeongjong Island near Incheon International Airport last Thursday, amid concerns that it may become the latest victim of Beijing’s ire following South Korea’s decision to install an anti-missile battery.
South Korean casino operator Paradise Co. Ltd.’s solution to the potential drop in the number of Chinese tourists is to diversify the market by attracting visitors from Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“Most of our customers individually visit Korea, so they are actually not influenced by the travel ban of the Chinese government,” Paradise Co. chairman and chief executive Chun Phil-lip said in a media briefing. “But we will deal with the issue in a conservative way, and we hope more Chinese customers return to Korea during next year’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”
The newly-opened “art-tainment resort” is expected to fuel Paradise Co’s revenue in 2017. The casino developer is forecast to post KRW880 billion (US$774.69 million) in sales this year and KRW1.1 trillion (US$968.36 million) in 2018. In the long term, Paradise Co. plans to hire 780,000 employees for Paradise City and create KRW8.2 trillion in production effects and KRW3.25 trillion in added value.
Paradise Co. partnered Tokyo-based pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings in 2012 to develop and operate Paradise City.
Considered to be one of the largest in South Korea in terms of floor space, Paradise City’s foreigners-only casino features 154 gaming tables, 281 slot machines and four, 62-seat electronic table games (ETG). The resort also features a hotel, a conference and banquet facility, restaurants, premium spa and commercial facilities.
Paradise Co., which now operates six foreigners-only casinos in South Korea, plans to establish a “massive” junket operation to ensure a steady stream of high rollers will cross the casino’s threshold.