Denmark and South Korea Announce Casino Closures After Surge in COVID-19 Cases

  • Casinos in 18 Denmark municipalities will close from December 9 through January 3
  • Several properties of Grand Korea Leisure in South Korea are shut down through December 29
  • Kangwon Land Casino in Sapuk-eup, Jeongseongun closed at midnight on December 8
Closed COVID-19 door sign
Casinos in both Denmark and South Korea, countries which have handled the pandemic well, are closing as COVID-19 cases increase. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

New Coronavirus regulations in place

Denmark and South Korea are the latest countries to announce casino closures due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Brick and mortar gambling facilities in 18 Denmark municipalities will close starting tomorrow after the government enacted new coronavirus measures.

higher infection rate calls for stricter social distancing

In South Korea, a higher infection rate calls for stricter social distancing limits. New COVID-19 mitigation rules resulted in the closure of casinos such as those operated by Paradise Co. Ltd. and Grand Korea Leisure.

Denmark casino closures

In Denmark, the Danish Gambling Authority revealed this week that a new closure order will affect gaming venues located in several areas, including the Greater Copenhagen region and Sjaelland.

As of this week, 38 municipalities in the country have stricter rules in place to combat the virus. The closures begin on December 9 and will continue through January 3.

Along with casinos, restaurants and gaming halls are subject to the closure. Cultural centers and indoor sporting facilities must also shut their doors.

National measures regarding COVID-19 are now in place through February 28 and may be extended. The government is urging people to social distance from others. Working at home is recommended when possible.

South Korea sees COVID-19 surge

A surge of new COVID-19 infections in South Korea has led to more stringent social distancing limits in the country. President Moon Jae-in is calling for more testing as well as better tracing efforts amidst the rise in positive cases. Seoul and surrounding areas of the country must meet new protocols, including the closure of businesses like casinos.

GKL estimates a loss of around $5m

Grand Korea Leisure (GKL) announced this week its Seven Luck Casinos located in Seoul will remain closed through December 29. The two venues went dark at the end of November. The company’s casino in Busan will also remain closed. GKL estimates a loss of around $5m because of the shutdown.

The largest casino in South Korea is Kangwon Land, the only one in Korea that is open to local residents. It closed at midnight Tuesday due to the new restrictions. This is the third time the casino has closed this year, having just reopened in October.

Card rooms close in LA County

In the United States, card rooms in Los Angeles County have also recently closed because of another COVID-19 surge in California. The card rooms must remain closed through December 20. There are seven card rooms in the county that provide more than 10,000 people with employment.

Smaller municipalities in the county such as Hawaiian Gardens which rely on gaming tax revenue are feeling the strain due to the card room closures. Because Gardens Casino has shut down multiple times this year and has implemented strict limitations when open, the city has lost more than $10m in revenue. As a result, the city may have to layoff employees or cut public programs.