March 31, 2016

Seoul's Paradise Walkerhill—A Unique Casino for Everyone

South Korea seems to be attracting a lot of Chinese tourists these days, and for good reason. One of its casinos, the Paradise Walkerhill, banked on the fact that the middle class is eager to get its gamble on, too, which is why the casino lowered the betting limits on its table games and slot machines.

Casinos are no longer exclusive to VIPs and high rollers. Thanks to online gaming providers that offer low-cost betting minimums to its games for as low as £1 (about ₩1,650), land-based casinos have adjusted their minimum bets in order to stay competitive.

Paradise Walkerhill is one of the establishments that took cue from online gaming providers, as its Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, and other table games are now targeting the middle class—the biggest demographic that visit casinos today. By creating a market for low rollers within their gaming area, Paradise Walkerhill has become one of the most popular casinos in South Korea.

Luxury-integrated casinos usually offer diamond-encrusted trinkets and gold jewelery as jackpot prizes to their guests. At Paradise Walkerhill, however, prizes range from rice cookers to smartphones. Complimentary Chinese food is also served to playing guests, which is a service that not all casinos offer.

According to statistics, the Chinese are the biggest demographic that visit casinos all over the world and by making them feel at home, Paradise Walkerhill is now enjoying a 50 percent increase in their Chinese visitors since 2015, which is significantly more than the number of Chinese guests they had in 2014, according to the casino's management.

The revenues of Las Vegas casinos have been declining for several years now due to high operational costs and competition from other countries. In fact, it's not only casinos in Las Vegas that are feeling a hit in sales, as it seems Macau is also experiencing tough times. If brick-and-mortar casinos want to survive the cut-throat industry, perhaps it's wise if everyone takes cue from Paradise Walkerhill's idea.

"Weakness in big markets means opportunities for mid-sized markets such as Korea and the Philippines, as Chinese gamblers travel farther to try new destinations," said Karen Tang, an analyst at Deutsche Bank.

The Chinese are traveling frequently now and it seems that many of them love to visit casinos, no matter the destination.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post; the opinions mentioned above do not necessarily reflect those of Seoul Searching's.


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