It is no secret the effects the coronavirus epidemic is having both on the country of China and to the world. It’s now official that it continues to wreak havoc and governments are feeling threatened. Several countries, including its own island of Macau, have already instituted travel bans restricting entry of Chinese nationals into their territories. The economic impact, though yet to be assessed, is bordering disastrous.
China’s gaming industry has not been spared by the epidemic.It all started with the closure of gaming venues in Macau Island, which have since been reopened. According to news by Calvin Ayre, the neighboring country of South Korea has not been spared by the coronavirus scare either.
South Korea is home to only one gaming venue, Kangwon Land. On February 24, while handing in its files to the Korea Exchange, Kangwon Land announced that it would be temporarily shutting its doors. The casino-resort was closed down at noon of February 23 and is expected to resume business at 6am on February 26.
The announcement came a few days after the government of South Korea placed the country on the highest alert, red. This was after the number of newly infected persons rose to 600. To protect its citizens, the government announced new travel restrictions which are meant to bar foreign nationals from accessing the country. Though the Kangwon Casino mainly serves Korean Nationals, it administration found it wise to temporarily close doors for a few days so as to protect its staff and guests.
Kangwon’s closure, though temporary, is expected to have a huge financial impact. Based on its current average daily earnings, the venue is expected to make losses of not less than $9.0 million per day. This is a big blow to the venue, which had very high hopes for the years 2020 and 2021, after a bountiful performance in 2019.
In the Q4 report of 2019, Kangwon set a new record revenue of $332.7 million, a 6% increase from the same period the previous year. In the same quarter, profits went up by nearly 14.2% from the same period in 2018. From the look of these figures, experts predict that now is not really a time to even think of investing in the hospitality industry, and to be precise the gambling arena.
Its strong performance in 2019 made analysts hopeful for this year. However, the venue may fail to meet its 2020 targets due to the closure, though it may still be too early to predict as there is still time for the venue to recover the lost days, if there are no further complications.
Implications of the coronavirus scare are still being felt in the island of Macau. Even after authorities allowed casinos to reopen their doors, there is nothing usual on the operations at the venues. Most casinos are partially open, with customer flow being less than half the usual mostly due to the travel restrictions and widespread fear of infection.