Further relief for South African casinos

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A review of the lockdown by the South African government has seen a further measure of relief for casinos.

They are among tourism-related businesses named among the latest relaxations in the country’s fight against the virus. President Cyril Ramaphosa said that hotels, tour operators and casinos can operate at 50 per cent of floor capacity. Notably, casinos can serve alcohol and tobacco now and travel between provinces is now permitted.

In the case of casinos players, they will be subjected to a number of health and safety protocols, including masks, social distancing, sanitisation and washing hands.

Sun City officially reopens on September 2, Sun City International said. The resort employs 3,300 people and had been closed since late March.

Said Graham Wood, Sun’s COO for hospitality: “To say we are delighted by this news would be an understatement. With inter-provincial travel restrictions lifted our tourist hotels and resorts such as Sun City Resort will finally be able to reopen.” He regretted the 10pm curfew will remain, however, offset by the freedom to once again serve alcohol.

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Sun City is the only one of the 12 properties in the Sun casino portfolio in South Africa that has not operated since casinos were permitted to operate again from July.

“Most of our casinos have been operating since July 1 and customers have been very supportive, but the curfew has hurt our business by reducing operating hours at a time when numbers on the floor already had to be limited, so we are hopeful that this can be relaxed or lifted soon.”

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