Kangwon Land, the only South Korean casino in which locals are allowed to gamble, is nearing a return to 50% capacity as the company gradually unwinds strict COVID-19 distancing measures, according to JP Morgan analysts.
In a Wednesday note examining Kangwon’s 2Q20 financial results, DS Kim, Derek Choi and Jeremy An reveal the property has now reopened around half of its slot machines and 35% to 40% (around 440 of 1,200 tables) of its gaming table capacity, which is also expected to hit 50% in the coming quarters.
Kangwon Land, which reported an operating loss of KRW104 billion (US$87.7 million) in the second quarter, closed its doors on 23 February due to COVID-19 before re-opening VIP operations on 8 May. The main gaming floor reopened on 20 July with strict distancing measures in place including a ban on standing bets and maximum 50% capacity. The property has since eased its initial cap on daily visitation from 750 people to 1,800 people, “which is already at ~25% of 2019 levels,” JP Morgan says.
While Kangwon Land reported zero mass revenue in 2Q20, it did take in some VIP revenue with the segment falling 48.2% year-on-year to KRW32 billion (US$27 million).
“We forecast VIP revenue to fully recover next quarter, with mass/slot revenues to normalize to 100% of 2019 levels by 2H of next year,” the analysts said.