Kangwon Land Inc, operator of Kangwon Land (pictured), the only casino resort in South Korea permitted to offer bets to locals, has confirmed to GGRAsia that since December 29, approximately half its 3,700 employees have been on mandatory leave, initially on an unpaid basis, latterly on reduced pay.
The measure – linked to a suspension of operations since December 8, as a countermeasure against Covid-19 – affects 1,958 workers and is scheduled to stay in place until January 31, the company said, in response to a telephone enquiry on Thursday from GGRAsia.
Local media had reported that the firm had initially planned to place the people on unpaid leave for the entire period, but after complaints and lobbying from the workforce side, had agreed on a form of reduced pay.
The company confirmed to GGRAsia that the staff concerned were receiving 70 percent of their monthly base salary as “urgent livelihood support”. The payment support had been decided by an emergency board meeting on January 18.
Due to Covid-19 countermeasures, Kangwon Land Inc had several suspensions of operations during 2020. The most recent, beginning on December 8, is still in place, and is due to run until 6am on February 1.
A Kangwon Land Inc representative stated to GGRAsia that mandatory leave for workers could be extended if the resort’s suspension is lengthened beyond February 1.
Kangwon Land casino’s first temporary shutdown in 2020 due to Covid-19 countermeasures was from February 23 to July 20, although a member-only area for higher-value customers reopened for a time, from early May. The second disruption was from August 21 to October 12.
As of 12am on Friday, South Korea had recorded 346 new Covid-19 cases in a 24-hour period. It took the national tally since the start of the crisis to 74,262, including 1,328 fatalities, according to data from the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The Kangwon Land resort is in a remote upland region outside the capital Seoul.
In late December, it was confirmed that Kangwon Land Inc had been given a new three-year casino licence by the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The new licence term is from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023.
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