Kangwon Land (pictured), the only casino resort in South Korea where the country’s nationals are allowed to gamble, was to resume operations at noon this Friday (May 8), three days earlier than expected, said its promoter in a Thursday filing. Kangwon Land Inc had extended the pause in gaming operations for eight consecutive times, with the latest extension set to run until May 11.
The initial casino closure notice was described by the resort’s promoter as a precautionary measure related to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely affected the country.
Kangwon Land Inc had originally announced a temporary closure of the casino from noon on February 23 until 6am on February 26, and then extended that on eight consecutive occasions, for an aggregate period spanning nearly 11 weeks.
The firm said in Thursday’s filing – at the time it flagged the restart of operations – that it was anticipating its lost casino sales would amount to KRW267.8 billion (US$220.3 million) calculated from the start of the casino shuttering on February 23. The estimate was based on Kangwon Land’s daily casino revenue in full-year 2019, added the scheme’s promoter.
Non-gaming facilities at the complex were to open gradually, depending on the evolution of the Covid-19 disease in South Korea, stated Kangwon Land Inc in previous filings.
At least two South Korean operators of foreigner-only casinos had also announced they were temporarily suspending their gaming operations, in line with the country’s effort at curbing the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd and Paradise Co Ltd have since reopened their respective gaming venues.
On Thursday, South Korea recorded four new cases of Covid-19 infection, taking the total to 10,810 cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Korea has been praised by a number of international experts as one of the first countries in the world to bring a major Covid-19 outbreak under control. New cases in the country peaked at 909 on February 28 and have gradually diminished since.