South Korean foreigner-only casino operator Grand Korea Leisure (GKL) reopened one of its three casinos in February, but casino sales remained devastatingly low with the company on Thursday reporting sales of just KRW507 million (US$448,000).
February sales were 98.8% lower than in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck South Korea, when GKL recorded casino sales of KRW43.96 billion (US$38.9 million).
The company closed all three of its casinos – Gangnam COEX and Gangbuk, Millenium Seoul Hilton in Seoul, and Seven Luck Casino Busan Lotte in Busan – in mid-December as the latest wave of COVID-19 spread across the country. It reopened Busan in February but last week announced that the two Seoul casinos would remain closed until at least 15 March while the Greater Seoul region remains under Alert Level 2.
As a result, turnover in February was also down 98.7% year-on-year to KRW3.65 billion (US$3.2 million), while turnover for January and February combined is down 99.5% with no turnover recorded at all in January.
South Korea began rolling out its vaccination program last Friday, with 154,421 people vaccinated over the first six days. The nation reported 424 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.