South Africa’s casinos and hotels to reopen; but it’s not that easy

Casinos Source: Google Images

Sun International has published a business update detailing how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted its operations.

The group noted that trading slowed significantly prior to lockdown and that all South African operations officially closed from 26 March 2020.

With the announcement on 17 June that casinos, restaurants, hotels and resorts will be allowed to reopen, the group said it is now gearing up to resume operations.

While the official regulations still need to be published, Sun International said that inter-provincial travel is currently still restricted, which will impact the opening of certain properties, including Sun City and the Wild Coast Sun.

While this travel restriction may be changed at a later date, Sun International said that it expects further restrictions as part of its phased reopening.

“We anticipate Advanced Alert level 3 regulations under the Disaster Management Act to be published incorporating restrictions relating to the resumption of trading of casinos, conference venues,restaurants and hotels,” it said.

The group said that this could include restrictions relating to, among others:

  • Crowd control aligned to submissions made by the industry (50% of capacity);
  • Prohibition of on-premises consumption of alcohol;
  • Smoking indoors;
  • Social distancing;
  • Switching off every second slot machine and having shields between slots;
  • Limiting the number of tables players;
  • Physical barriers between dealers and players;
  • MVG only access.

The below images show some of the protective measures Sun International will put in place at its casinos.

Sun International said that it anticipates a ‘slow start to trading’ and that its hotel and resort properties will be under pressure for some time.

It said that a significant restructure of its hotel and resort properties are planned. This will include a restructure of its gaming operations. Despite this, it still anticipates significantly reduced hours and or temporary layoffs for workers.

“The restructure will be a difficult process but is vital for the long term survival of our hotel and resort properties, given the difficult environment that they will be facing. In a number of cases we will require gaming board approval.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic is having a material negative impact on the macroeconomic environment with notable implications for the South African GDP outlook and a slow domestic recovery

“Although trading conditions are going to be challenging, we are confident that, with the appropriate level of support from shareholders and lenders, the company can trade through this crisis.”