- China bans tour groups from visiting South Korea over concerns about THAAD deployment
- Largest South Korea casino operator sees 85.3% decline in profits due to loss of VIP players
Amidst ongoing tensions in the region, which saw the deployment to Seoul of an American-made missile defence system earlier this year, South Korea’s biggest casino operator Paradise Corporation has reportedly experienced a significant decline in revenue.
The company, which is the largest casino operator in South Korea, operates a number of casinos, including the Paradise City integrated resort.
The decreased figures have been alleged by some to have been caused by the aforementioned missile deployment.
As a response to that incident, Beijing has instructed travel agents to cancel tour groups to South Korea, and the country’s casinos are apparently losing out on revenue from its most lucrative customers: VIP bettors from China.
Loss of VIP customers
Paradise Company limited only recently posted its financial results for the second quarter. The company has experienced a 26% decrease year-on-year in its overall sales to $122.91 million and a 85.3% drop in gross profit to $6.58 million.
According to representatives of Paradise Company Limited, the decline in revenue is due to the plunging numbers of VIP visitors from China. Those players reportedly represent the biggest source of revenue for South Korean casinos, bringing almost half of the wagers at local venues.
In March, Beijing initiated its ban on tour groups visiting South Korea, cancelling all group tours scheduled to depart that month. It was reported at the time that local booking agents cited Seoul’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system as the main reason why China wanted to redress its tourism to South Korea.
The figures have revealed the second consecutive quarter that the company has experienced a drop in its sales. Conversely, the company witnessed a rise in Japanese VIP visitors.
It would appear that, for now, the situation is likely to not be resolved – alongside heightening tensions between the US and North Korea, China has again called for a halt to the deployment of THAAD.
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