South Korea’s Kangwon Land Casino to Remain Shuttered Until Saturday Given Coronavirus Risk

Posted on: February 26, 2020, 10:40h. 

Last updated on: February 26, 2020, 11:16h.

South Korea’s Kangwon Land will stay temporarily closed until Saturday morning because of health threats associated with the COVID-19 virus. The gaming property initially closed at noon on Sunday and was to reopen 6 a.m. today.

South Korea’s Kangwon Land casino will be closed until Saturday morning because of coronavirus risk. (Image: Forbes)

Now, Kangwon Land is scheduled to reopen 6 a.m. Saturday, according to a company filing with the Korea Exchange (KRX). Also, in Tuesday’s filing, Kangwon Land projects a KRW22 billion (US$18.1 million) loss during the week-long closure, using calculations from last year’s daily casino revenue, GGRAsia reported.

Kangwon Land is in Kangwon Province. That is some 93 miles from Seoul. Kangwon Land is the only casino in the nation where local residents can enter the gaming floor.

South Korea has issued a high alert — known as “red” — for COVID-19. As of Wednesday, 12 patients died from the illness in South Korea, and 1,261 were infected by the virus. A US solider stationed in Korea has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, too.

An estimated 81 percent of new viral infections were in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, The Korea Herald said. Public events were canceled in the nation, ranging from K-pop concerts to K-league soccer, CNA reported.

“The government will mobilize all resources and means” in controlling the virus, Prime Minster Chung Sye-kyun said in a statement quoted by Yonhap news agency. South Korea has the second-highest number of cases of the deadly virus of any nation. China is the most impacted.

CDC Issues Warning for US Tourists Thinking About Korea

Also, the US Centers for Disease Control advised Americans on Monday to “avoid nonessential travel” to South Korea, USA Today reported. If US residents are in South Korea, they should avoid those infected with the virus, wash hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer with 60 to 95 percent alcohol, and do not touch their mouth, eyes, or nose, USA Today reported, citing CDC guidance.

If Americans were in South Korea during the past two weeks and have a fever, cough, or breathing problems, they should see a health care professional quickly, the report added. They should also cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or a shirt sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Several nations or regions have restricted those traveling from South Korea. For instance, flights between Macau and South Korea were cancelled until Sunday, GGRAsia reported.

Fox News reported American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines are offering to waive change fees for ticket holders scheduled to fly to South Korea in coming months. Delta Air Lines will temporarily cut flights from South Korea, Reuters reported.

On Tuesday, reported the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are in jeopardy because of the COVID-19 virus. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for July 24 at Olympic Stadium in the Japanese capital.

The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that while COVID-19 has potential to become a pandemic, it is still only an epidemic. A pandemic is a disease that has spread across many continents, while an epidemic is the rapid spread of a disease within a given region or population.

Macau Casino Safety Measures

The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) is responding to several complaints regarding casinos failing to enforce required health and safety precautions stemming from the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Following a 15-day closure because of the coronavirus that was first reported in Wuhan, China, Macau’s casinos reopened last week. But they did so with numerous safety measures aimed at keeping the deadly disease from spreading in the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Macau gamblers must remain seated and cannot place bets standing. At least one seat must be left vacant between two gamblers (applies to table games and slot machines).

Only half of a casino’s table games can be in operation. Table game dealers must be stationed a minimum of 3.3 feet from players. Also, people are not permitted to stand behind gamblers.

Dealers must continue to wear surgical masks. Patrons are also asked to wear masks, and those who do not can be asked to leave the premises.

The DICJ is additionally requiring that casinos increase the frequency of their cleaning schedules.

Gaming analysts are forecasting that gross gaming revenue (GGR) could decline as much as 95 percent in February 2020 compared with February 2019. That would mean a loss of more than $2.8 billion in casino win.