Kangwon Land, the only casino resort in South Korea where the country’s nationals are allowed to gamble, has decided to extend – for a second time – the temporary closure of its gaming venue.
The resort (pictured) will now see its casino remain shuttered until 6am on March 9. The casino’s operator Kangwon Land Inc, had originally announced a temporary closure from noon on February 23 until 6am on February 26, and then extended that until 6am on February 29.
The firm said in a Friday filing to the Korea Exchange that as a result of the second extension to the closure, it was now increasing its estimate on loss of casino sales during the shutdown, to approximately KRW55 billion (US$45.6 million).
The original closure was described as a precautionary measure related to an outbreak of Covid-19 infections in that country.
But the Kangwon Land company – which although publicly-listed, is subject to significant oversight by the country’s government – as yet to clarify whether it had been ordered by the national authorities to shut down or was doing so voluntarily.
South Korea recorded 595 new cases of coronavirus-related infection in 24 hours as of 9am on Sunday, bringing the nationwide total of confirmed infections to 3,526 as of that time, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of 9am on Sunday, seven of the confirmed cases were in Gangwon province, according to that monitoring body. That is the province where the Kangwon Land resort is located. The majority of the country’s confirmed cases – totalling 2,569 – were in the city of Daegu, the epicentre of the South Korea outbreak.
The country now has the second-highest number of cases in the world after China. As of 9am on Sunday, South Korea had recorded 17 deaths from Covid-19, an illness caused by a newly-classified virus that was first reported in Hubei province, mainland China.
As of Thursday, Paradise Co Ltd, one of the South Korean operators of foreigner-only casinos in that country, told GGRAsia that it was “not yet considering” closing its venues for business against the backdrop of a spike of coronavirus infections in that nation.
GGRAsia also asked Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd, another operator of foreigner-only casinos in South Korea, whether it had any plans to shutter venues. We had not received a reply by the time this story went online.
Kangwon Land Inc’s full-2019 net profit rose by 12.7 percent in year-on-year terms, supported by stronger sales and lower costs, the firm said earlier this month. Such profit in the 12 months to December 31 was KRW335.06 billion compared with nearly KRW297.24 billion in 2018, according to an earnings filing.
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