CASINO

Majestar to suspend Jeju casino ops over previous owners’ antics

TAGs: jeju island, Jeju Shilla Hotel & Casino, majestar co ltd, South Korea

majestar-jeju-casino-closingSouth Korean casino operator Majestar Co Ltd will temporarily suspend operations at its Jeju island gaming venue this summer as punishment for the previous ownership’s shenanigans.

On Friday, Majestar informed the South Korea stock exchange that it would close its Jeju Shilla Hotel & Casino on Jeju island starting June 6. The English-language filing indicates that the property would reopen on May 5, but this appears to be a typo, as Reuters reported that the property would reopen on July 5.

The company said the suspension of its casino operations was due to a “Violation of Article 28 Paragraph 1 Item 7 of Tourism Promotion Act (Penalty for violation of the Company due to confirmation of absence of total sales of casino in 2011 by Beluga Co., Ltd.”

Majestar’s Jeju Shilla gaming venue formerly operated under the name Beluga Casino & Resort, which opened in 1991. Beluga moved its operations to Jeju’s Hyatt Hotel in 2012, which was subsequently acquired by Hong Kong’s Landing International Development while gaming operations were transferred to a Genting Hong Kong subsidiary.

Majestar insists that “the former company’s sanctioning disposition was not succeeded to the Company and the Company could not know the omission of sales of all operators.” Majestar says the one-month suspension of casino activities will cost the company KRW 24.4b (US $21.5m) and Majestar says it will “proactively respond to administrative lawsuits” that could result from the shutdown.

This isn’t the first time a Jeju casino operator has been forced to shut down based on shenanigans perpetrated by previous management. In November 2015, Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts was forced to shut its Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino for one month following the local gaming regulators’ probe into the “gaming tax payment practices” of the casino’s previous owners.

Last December, Jeju’s provincial government announced plans to seek greater transparency among the island’s eight foreigners-only casinos. The new regulations took effect in January.

In other recent Majestar news, the company announced last month that it had appointed Woo Sung Deok as co-CEO, joining existing CEO Jang Hun Chul as sharing the chief executive’s responsibilities.

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