South Korea’s Kangwon Land Struggles To Reopen

South Korea has only one casino that can offer its gambling services to residents of the region, and because of COVID-19 it has been dealing with a lot of pressure this year.

Due to the global pandemic, Kangwon Land first closed everything down in February, then got things back up and running in May. The idea at the time was to encourage high rollers to visit in a test to see how far it would all go.

As the coronavirus decided to make another run in the region, the test fell flat, and the casino shut down once again. Confident that at the end of the tunnel there would be a brighter, healthier light, Kangwon Land tirelessly worked to prepare for today, September 21, the day it would get back to business. However, today does not look good either, based on an update given last Friday, and the gambling venue will not be back up and running until next month at some point.

On Friday, Kangwon Land provided new information to the Korea Exchange, explaining that the property would remain closed until 6 AM local time on October 5. The decision follows a bid by South Korean officials to extend the country’s health security measures for an additional week as they seek to try to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Officials are also planning to turn the screws on travel and other events, which will affect the coming fall vacation that usually takes place at the end of September.

The continued shutdown is bad news for the property’s bottom line, situated just 93 miles from the 9.73 million people who live in Seoul, the capital of the country. Revenue is already significantly down this year, with the property posting a year-on-year decline of 91.4 percent over the first six months of 2020.

That puts the company’s take in the red, and it now plans to lose another $46.4 million from this Wednesday before next month’s reopening. That figure is based on the daily average of casino revenues in the first half of the year, but if July and August operation were included, the real losses may be greater.

South Korea currently has 22,975 record cases of COVID-19, according to the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, 82 were found over a 24-hour span from Saturday to Sunday, an indication that there is still more work to be done while the control efforts are helping. It was recorded earlier this month that since 14 August the daily average of new positive cases had been in the triple-digit range.