Tsogo Sun Requests Reopening of SA Casinos Under Level 3 Lockdown
The chief executive of Tsogo Sun Gaming, Chris du Toit, said recently that the SA gambling giant had made a representation to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), asking for casinos to be allowed to be open under lockdown level 3.
This was in response to Tourism Minister Mmaloloko Kubayi-Ngubane announcing on Saturday that lockdown level 3 did not permit gambling.
Du Toit said that he hoped that the group’s submissions to the government would be considered.
“We are disappointed that we are still not allowed to operate under level 3, but we have made submissions to the government and the DTI,” confirmed the Tsogo Sun executive.
South Africa’s gambling industry, one of the biggest job providers in the country, employing 25,000 people, has presented an alternative to the government in a bid to save the industry.
This includes methods such as social distancing and hygiene measures.
No doubt, South African casino operators are hoping to follow the lead of other locations around the world that have reopened their casinos, despite COVID-19.
Casinos in Las Vegas, for example, were permitted to reopen, as long as they adhere to strict measures. Casinos have to provide sinks for hand-washing, mask and glove dispensers, and Plexiglass round table games. Slot machines and game tables are spaced out so as to maintain the required social distance and casinos have to operate at half-capacity
Other safety measures which could be adopted by South African casinos include body temperature screening, and encouraging patrons not to touch slot screens or lift buttons with their fingers.
Du Toit added: “We are confident that we can practice social distancing if we are permitted to operate, because we can function between 33 and 50 percent of our capacity.”
Tsogo Sun Gaming said “no industry can survive extended periods without revenue” and encouraged the government to open up the economy as quickly as possible, “with due regard for safety.”