The government on Jeju island (pictured) in South Korea has asked foreigner-only casinos there that are still shuttered following the Covid-19 pandemic, to reopen from October 1, unless they can provide a good reason not to.
Five of the island’s eight foreigner-only venues were still paused as of Tuesday. Some have previously cited a slow pace of tourism recovery for delaying relaunch.
Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino, a property of Philippines-listed Bloomberry Resorts Corp, has confirmed to GGRAsia – in response to our telephone enquiry on Tuesday – that it will reopen on October 3. Jeju Sun’s operation has been paused since March 21, 2020.
A spokesperson for MegaLuck Casino, run by Hong Kong-listed New Silkroad Culturaltainment Ltd – it was recently announced the gaming business would be relocating to the Jeju Shilla Hotel – has told GGRAsia it will restart business on November 1.
New Silkroad recorded zero revenue from its entertainment business – encompassing its Jeju casino interest – for the six months to June 30, as it did for the first half 2021, according to its latest interim report filed in Hong Kong on August 28.
A government spokesperson for Jeju, a semi-autonomous holiday island, which has licensing oversight regarding its local casinos, told GGRAsia: “Our official position is resuming all closed foreigner-only casinos by October 1, as we judge there is no reason to continue disruption.”
The person added: “If any of those venues wishes to continue pausing, it would need to consult with us – with proper reasons – in advance.
The three other currently-paused properties are: Gongzi Jeju Casino, located at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Jeju Ocean Front Hotel; Jeju Oriental Hotel and Casino; and Yalanwan casino, which is said to be in the process of relocating to Lotte Hotel Jeju. The trio respectively told GGRAsia they had no reopening schedule to disclose presently.
The three island properties currently in use are: the casino at Jeju Dream Tower, run by Lotte Tour Development Co Ltd; Landing Casino, operated by Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Ltd at Jeju Shinhwa World resort; and Paradise Casino Jeju Grand, controlled by Paradise Co Ltd.
A South Korea Ministry of Justice press release on August 26, said that the country was extending beyond August 31, a visa-free entry scheme to Jeju that would be applicable to passport holders of a number of countries and places, including mainland China.
A visa-free scheme for Jeju visits for certain passport holders had commenced on June 1, described at the time as a “restart” of some pre-pandemic arrangements.
(Updated 11.30am, Sept 7)
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