Unfortunately, Sun International Casinos and Hotels will close down its casinos and hotels in South Africa. This came after President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced new Covid-19 alert level restrictions. More so, the new restrictions are billed to last at least two weeks.
Sun International announced the temporary closure on Monday. No doubt, the new restrictions require that all casinos in SA shut down. Also, considering how dangerous this third wave of the pandemic is, the closure of casinos may exceed two weeks.
Right now, some countries have also banned flights coming from South Africa.
The New Covid-19 Restrictions in South Africa
Like some countries, SA is experiencing a third wave of pandemics. According to medical experts, the spread of the virus may be faster if it is not contained on time.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday during a national broadcast, said that SA is among the worst-hit countries in Africa. He added that currently, South Africa had recorded the highest cases and deaths. As of last Saturday, the recorded new cases were 18,000.
The President said that the focus is to limit social contacts while they try to preserve the economy. The new restriction outlined by the President during his national broadcast are:
- All gatherings of any kind are prohibited.
- The curfew will commence from 9 pm to 4 am.
- The selling of alcohol in SA will be banned.
- Schools will start closing on Wednesday.
- Beaches and parks in the country will not be closed.
- Restaurants can’t entertain guests; rather, they can sell for takeaway or delivery to customers.
The President also added that these restrictions would last for fourteen days. However, the President added that the situation would determine whether the restrictions will be maintained or readjusted.
Sun International: The Effect of Shutting Down a Third Time
No doubt, Sun International will be drastically affected by the close of their casinos in SA for the third time. Speaking to reporters, Graham Wood, the Chief Operating Officer for the hospitality of Sun International, said that the company has decided to close temporarily based on the recent happenings. Aside from others, the immediate effect of the 14 days close on the Sun International was:
- Shares: Based on the recent shutdown, Sun International shares fell by approximately 9 percent on Monday. This followed as the new restrictions were announced.
- Reservations: Also, Graham further added that all hotel reservations scheduled from the 15th of July 2021 could be changed to another date from the 20th of November 2021. However, the reservation also is canceled at no cost. Sadly too, Sun International promised to refund all deposits in case of cancellations.
At the closing of the press conference, Graham hoped that the restrictions would not exceed 14 days so that they could reopen for business.
How Will the Land-based Casinos in SA Fair Post Covid?
Aside from Sun International, other land-based casinos in SA have also suffered massive losses. For instance, the share prices of other land-based casino companies also suffered a similar fate like Sun International.
Tsogo Sun Gaming’s share prices fell drastically after the announcement of the new restrictions was made. With more than 40 land-based casinos in SA, shutting down this third time will bite hard if the restrictions exceed 14 days. Before now, most land-based casinos announced more than 50 percent loss after the lockdown was lifted the second time.
Since land-based gambling remains the only legal way to gamble at casinos in SA for real money, the economy of the country will be directly affected too.
Is Online Casino Gaming Not the Way Forward?
Unfortunately, SA has not legalized gambling at online casinos. According to experts, the online casino industry in SA can yield double the present revenue generated by land-based casinos. Right now, foreign-based casinos are operating in SA, and the government cannot claim those revenues.
Undoubtedly, gambling at online casinos is the only way forward because of the recent happenings. At least this will reduce the contacts made at the land-based casinos. Don’t forget, to gamble at online casinos, all you need is a mobile device or a laptop connected to the internet.
Other countries and some states in the US have taken the challenge of legalizing online casinos after wading in on the advantages.
The Likelihood of the Sun International Casinos Resuming Operations Soon
Just like other land-based casinos in SA, Sun International hopes to resume operations after the 14 days restrictions. Graham stated this when he addressed journalists regarding the temporary closure.
Aside from that, South Africa received about 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Also, another 1.2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were added recently. With these measures, it is believed that the restrictions will not exceed two weeks.
However, the vaccine rollout in SA has been slow, with just 2.7 million doses administered.