Kangwon Land, the only South Korean casino in which locals are allowed to gamble, has closed its doors once again after national health officials announced tightened social distancing guidelines to combat a new rise in COVID-19 cases.
Casino operations at Kangwon Land ceased at 10pm on Sunday night and will remain on hold until at least 6am next Saturday 29 August. It is the second time this year the casino has been forced to close, having originally suspended operations on 23 February before reopening for VIP guests on 8 May and for main gaming floor players from 20 July.
As recently reported by Inside Asian Gaming, Kangwon Land had been gradually increasing capacity since reopening, from an initial cap on daily visitation of 750 people to 1,800 people as of mid-August – roughly 25% of full capacity.
On Saturday, Kangwon Land also revealed a recent guest of its Palace Hotel had subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. The guest visited on 18 August and stayed for around three hours but had no contact with other guests, the company said. The guest’s room has been closed and thoroughly cleaned.
This latest closure comes after Kangwon Land reported an operating loss of KRW104 billion (US$87.7 million) in 2Q20 as a result of COVID-19.
As of Sunday, South Korea had recorded a total of 17,399 cases and 309 deaths, with 332 new cases in the previous 24 hours.
The new guidelines imposed on large parts of the country over the weekend include restrictions on large gatherings and the closing of bars and nightclubs.