On February 26, South Korean foreigner-only casino operator Paradise Co Ltd reported they achieved a profit in 2019, cementing a solid improvement from their overall loss in 2018. In their filing with the Korea Exchange, they reported net income of KRW14.96 billion ($12 million) for 2019 versus a net loss of KRW21.05 billion ($17 million) the year before. Paradise reported total sales of KRW979.43 billion ($810 million) in 2019, 24.4% higher than the previous year.
The Paradise City integrated resort was the engine behind this growth, with sales of KRW463.17 billion ($380 million) for 2019, up 53.6% year-on-year and accounting for 47.3% of the company’s overall sales. Paradise City’s annual gross profit hit KRW20 billion ($17 million).
This great news comes at a nerve-racking time for the South Korean casino industry. Growing concerns about the coronavirus have led to a temporary shutdown at the Kangwon Land facility. The shutdown of the only casino that South Korean residents are allowed to use began on Sunday and was to end at 6 AM on February 26, but has been extended to February 29.
The decision to temporarily close Kangwon Land came following the government putting the country on high alert. As of Thursday, South Korea has reported 1,766 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, with 13 deaths. This has led to numerous cancellations of concerts and soccer matches.
Executives at Paradise Co. have to be concerned that the rapid increase of cases could mean that their facilities will lose business or face closure as well. With Kangwon Land already estimated to have lost $22 million due to this scare, Paradise Co. will be hoping the virus can be contained sooner than later.