The closure of casinos will commence from midnight tonight as the region combats COVID-19 infections
South Korea has ordered Seoul metropolitan area casinos to close, taking effect from midnight as the region combats a surge in COVID-19 infections, according to the local media outlets.
All the four foreigner-only casino venues in greater Seoul, namely, Gangnam Coex Seoul, Gangbuk Millenium Seoul Hilton, Paradise Casino Walkerhill Seoul and Paradise City Casino Incheon will have to suspend operations temporarily. This is due to the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in Greater Seoul between November 15 and November 21, which amounted to 300 cases daily during that period.
“Level 1.5 social distancing applies if the weekly average is over 100 cases in the metropolitan area, and Level 2, if over 200.”
The regions of Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon have been ordered to go into ‘Level 2’ of the country’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy, which prohibits all events, including bars, nightclubs, casinos, etc.
The Level 2 designation will also call a halt to local racing operations such as horseracing and boat racing that are among the few legal avenues of gambling that local residents can participate.
“Paradise Casino Walkerhill Seoul, Gangnam Coex Seoul, and Gangbuk Millennium Seoul Hilton told GGRAsia no specific instructions had been provided by their respective corporate managements as of Monday morning.”
The Walkerhill venue stated that it would only stop serving food and drink from 9pm Monday, and Grand Korea Leisure (GKL) said its casinos would remain shut until December 8, with an expected cost to the company of KRW5.1b (US$4.6m).
Kangwon Land, located in a mountainous region some 200km north of Seoul, remains the only casino at which locals can gamble.
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