Kangwon Land, the only South Korean casino in which locals are allowed to gamble, has cancelled plans to reopen its main gaming floor today following a sudden spike in new cases of COVID-19 across the country.
South Korean authorities reported 40 new cases in the previous 24 hours on Wednesday, the country’s biggest jump in more than 50 days, with 36 of those cases linked to a densely-populated area in Seoul. Case numbers have been gradually rising in recent weeks after the government began easing some COVID-19 restrictions.
Kangwon Land, which opened its VIP floor on Friday 8 May, had earlier this week announced it would open parts of its main gaming floor from today in a “pilot operation,” but said overnight it had decided late Wednesday to implement an “emergency suspension” of the pilot opening. The decision will be revisited in the coming weeks based on the advice of national authorities.
Kangwon Land’s VIP floor has been operating with a series of social distancing measures in place, including a minimum one meter distance between players, sneeze guards at gaming tables and mandatory face masks.
The company recently revealed a loss of KRW156.12 billion (US$127.2 million) for the three months to 31 March 2020 on a 37.5% drop in sales due to COVID-19.
South Korea’s COVID-19 tally currently sits at 11,265 cases and 269 deaths.