SA Casinos Shut as Country Goes into 3 Week Corona Lockdown
In a bid to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced far-reaching restrictions in South Africa this week. All major attractions and places of entertainment have closed their doors, including national parks, theme parks and land based casinos.
Sun International didn’t wait until the official lockdown, scheduled for Thursday at midnight, came into effect and the group already started closing its casinos on Tuesday. The group also said that it would be closing all of its South African hotels. Rival Tsogo Sun Gaming has also closed their casinos to the public.
Very few industries in the world will come out of the coronavirus pandemic unscathed, and that goes for the gambling and hospitality industries as well. The South African casino industry won’t know the full extent of the damage until it is able to take stock and regroup – and nobody knows when that will be.
In an announcement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange this week, Sun International touched on the effect that the coronavirus is expected to have on its shares.
“While Sun International continues to engage with its various lenders to ensure that its credit facilities are maintained, the full financial impact of the coronavirus on the company will only be able to be determined once the lockdown has been uplifted and its ramifications properly assessed,” said the group. “Shareholders will be kept apprised of developments in this regard.”
Tsogo Sun also issued a statement, saying that from March 16th, following the President’s speech, the negative impact of the virus became directly evident for the first time. “From Thursday 19 March 2020, the position deteriorated significantly with sites operating with limited capacity due to the regulatory restrictions,” said Tsogo Sun’s CEO, Chris du Toit.
It’s not only the land based casinos that are expected to be significantly affected by the virus. The South African national lottery will certainly take a hit as a result of many of its retailers shutting their doors during the three-week lockdown.
Now, more than ever, South Africans are encouraged to take their gaming and lottery playing online. The National Lottery operator, Ithuba, offers multiple games to play off its online platform, with the same huge prizes that you’ll find at land-based lottery retailers. Online choices include Lotto, Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2, Powerball and Powerball Plus, Daily Lotto, Raffle and Easiwin.
There are many top quality online casinos that offer their games and services to South African players, with ZAR payment options and excellent games.