Sun International casinos shuttered due to SA Covid-19 guidelines

South African operator Sun International has announced the temporary closure of its casino and restaurant properties due to new Covid-19 regulations in the country.


Earlier this week President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 14-day ban on indoor and outdoor gathering, as well as a ban on the sale of alcohol, dining in restaurants and travel to the worst-hit areas of the country amid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

These measures mean that Sun's casinos, restaurants, and most of its hotels and resorts have had to close for the foreseeable future - including Sun City Resort and Wild Coast Sun.

The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town and Boardwalk Hotel in Gqeberha will remain open, however.

“The new regulations require our casinos and restaurants to close, but given the new restrictions on leisure travel into and out of Gauteng, alcohol and the curfew, our hotels and resorts will struggle to operate, so we have taken a decision to temporarily close them too," chief operating officer Graham Wood said.

“We are mindful that government is concerned about the risk of transmission and the need to curtail the rise in new infections. However, these restrictions will have a further negative impact on our Tourism industry, the thousands of people employed and the surrounding local communities.

“We remain hopeful that the worst of the latest Covid-19 outbreak will have subsided 14 days from now so that we can safely reopen our hotels, resorts and casinos.”

The company's online sports betting platform SunBet will remain in operation, as will Federal Palace in Nigeria.

The company has already had to feel the financial burden of closing its venues, having to do so in 2020 due to the pandemic. Chief executive Anthony Leeming talked to ICE365 about the restructuring that resulted, and why he feels it has safeguarded the operator's future.