Grand Korea Leisure reopens Seoul casinos

Grand Korea Leisure can operate at 20 per cent of normal capacity.
Grand Korea Leisure can operate at 20 per cent of normal capacity.

Grand Korea Leisure has reopened its two casinos in Seoul after the latest pandemic-related closure that began in November 2020.

South Korea.- Grand Korea Leisure has reopened its two foreigner-only casinos in Seoul, Gangnam COEX and Gangbuk Millenium Seoul Hilton.

The casinos can operate at 20 per cent of normal capacity. Gangnam COEX has limited its daily number of guests to 185 while Gangbuk Millenium Seoul Hilton has limited guests to 148.

The reopening comes after the country’s Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters’ decision to maintain the country’s Covid-19 alert level at Level 2.

The two Grand Korea Leisure casinos had been closed since November 24 due to Covid-19 countermeasures. GKL saw casino sales fall by 62.4 per cent year-on-year to KRW184.46bn in 2020.

Grand Korea Leisure restrictions

At the two casinos in Seoul, guests must wear face masks and have their temperature checked upon entry. Hand sanitisers and masks are available in the casinos.

The casino has implemented the following Covid-19 safety measures:

  • Controlled access via thermal imaging cameras.
  • Rearrangement of tables and chairs for social distancing.
  • Installation of safety shields at table games and slot machines.
  • Masks and temperature checks for staff.
  • Professional disinfection of entire facility and equipment.

Expected Losses

The long period of inactivity has deeply affected Grand Korea Leisure’s sales. The casino operator reported a loss of KRW64.33bn (US$57.6m) for 2020, compared to profit of nearly KRW72.40bn in 2019.

Sales for the last quarter of 2020 decreased by 88.6 per cent year-on-year and 57 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2020.

In February 2021, casino sales were down by 98.8 per cent year-on-year to KRW507m (US$448,000).

The casino operator reacted positively to the reopening but does not expect to see revenue increase significantly for some time.

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Grand Korea Leisure land-based casino