In South Korea and local casino operator Grand Korea Leisure Company Limited has reportedly been hit by news that the impressive 680-room Seoul hotel housing one of its Seven Luck-branded venues may soon be demolished.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the five-star Millennium Hilton Seoul is located near the center of the nation’s largest city and was recently sold to local real estate developer Igis Asset Management for approximately $892 million. The source explained that the new owner subsequently released plans that are to see the 38-year-old venue torn down to be replaced by a new office building.
Grand Korea Leisure Company Limited has reportedly operated a foreigner-only casino within the 22-story Millennium Hilton Seoul for over 30 years with the 30,569 sq ft element currently featuring a selection of some 70 slots alongside about 50 gaming tables. The hotel, which was previously owned by a branch of Singapore-headquartered investment firm City Developments Limited, was purportedly a popular pre-coronavirus meeting spot for a range of local politicians and businessman and simultaneously benefitted as large numbers of Japanese and Chinese tourists visited its in-house gambling facility.
However, the hotel and its Seven Luck-branded casino reportedly saw their business begin to decline in 2016 following a political row between China and South Korea concerning the latter’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system. This regression was purportedly compounded from early last year owing to the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns that kept the venue shuttered for a large portion of 2020.
Alongside a casino within the Millennium Hilton Seoul and Grand Korea Leisure Company Limited is reportedly responsible for Seven Luck-branded enterprises inside the Intercontinental Seoul Coex and Lotte Hotel Busan properties. The operator is a subsidiary of the Korea Tourism Organization, which is itself affiliated to the Asian nation’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and has purportedly yet to publicly announce any future plans should the Seoul hotel ultimately be demolished.
Grand Korea Leisure Company Limited could reportedly struggle to find a site as prominent as the Millennium Hilton Seoul while any envisioned relocation could be further hindered by the company’s recent financial stagnation. The Seoul-headquartered operator purportedly last month detailed a loss for the whole of 2020 of around $57.9 million owing to the coronavirus-related shutterings of its venues with its subsequent first-quarter deficit now believed to be in the region of $33.4 million.