Kangwon Land, the only casino in Korea at which locals are allowed to gamble, closed its doors for 24 hours on Sunday due to the Coronavirus – just the second time in its history that operations have been suspended.
Management didn’t provide any details on the closure other than noting it was “due to the nationwide spread of COVID-19”, however it did prompt analysts to question how a one-day closure would help prevent the spread of the virus through South Korea.
JP Morgan also hinted at the possibility of further closures in the near future to mirror the recent 15-day shutdown in Macau, or perhaps a reduction in capacity as per the 50% capacity table limit placed on Macau’s gaming floors since their re-opening last Thursday.
“Also the question remains if foreigner-only casinos will follow suit, though the possibility would not seem high as their utilization rates are typically less than half of Kangwon’s anyway.”
The casino had previously closed for one day in 2012 to check security cameras following a security breach.
JP Morgan is currently estimating a 4% year-on-year decline in revenue at Kangwon Land in 1Q20, having recorded GGR of KRW362 billion (US$308.4 million) in the first quarter of 2019.