Grand Korea Leisure extended the closure period for its Seoul, Gangnam COEX and Gangbuk Millennium Seoul Hilton casinos. The South Korean foreigner-only casino operator announced that the facilities are expected to open on March 1.
This week, the Seoul government announced the reduction of the COVID-19 alert level for the Greater Seoul area from Level 2.5 to Level 2. However, the GKL properties appear not to be ready to open immediately.
The two Seoul casinos closed their doors on November 24 and have been inactive for almost three months. The shutdown was caused by the high alert for Covid-19 and the peak of positive cases.
As for its third casino, Seven Luck Casino in Busan Lotte, which closed on December 1, the company did not mention anything about its reopening anytime soon.
The casinos outside the Greater Seoul region they can now reopen as the alert level dropped from level 2 to level 1.5.
In spite of the falling alert levels, the area is nowhere near being clear as there were many new cases of Covid-19 infection this week.
Previous opening plans
In early February, Grand Korea Leisure announced that its properties in Seoul and Busan opened on February 15, but GKL seemed not ready to risk another blowout.
On Monday, GKL representatives announced that losses on casino sales are expected to reach KRW32.6 billion (US $ 29.2 million) during the extended closing period. Amount is based on average daily net sales from July to September of last year.
Another foreigner-only casino operator, Paradise Co, did not close its locations in Seoul, Busan and Incheon. Only closed briefly Paradise walkerhill in Seoul in December.
The current pandemic caused many losses for the gaming industry, as casinos around the world had to remain closed to retain the virus.
Meanwhile, the pandemic interfered with British hotel and casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s plan to open a casino complex in Korea.
In the fall of 2020, Mohegan representatives announced that the INSPIRE Entertainment Resort in South Korea it would open in 2023 instead of early 2022, as initially planned.
The extension was mainly due to construction delays due to the pandemic. There were also reports that Mohegan was experiencing difficulties securing the capital to complete the mega-scheme and that there were disagreements between the Connecticut-based casino operator and its Korean development partners as the latter required that all outstanding funds be paid in. in full and that more funds be secured before construction work could resume.
Source: “Grand Korea Leisure extends Seoul casino closure until March 1,” IAG, February 17, 2021