JSE-listed gaming giant Sun International has temporarily closed all its casino and hotel properties in South Africa, the group announced on Monday.
This comes in the wake of President Cyril Ramaphosa reintroducing Covid-19 alert Level 4 restrictions for a two-week period in the country, until July 11, due to the massive third wave surge in infections.
“All of Sun International’s restaurants and casino properties will be temporarily closed from today, in line with new Covid-19 regulations announced by the President last night,” the group said in a statement.
“The group has also taken a decision to temporarily close its hotels and resorts, including Sun City Resort and Wild Coast Sun,” it added.
Sun International’s chief operating officer for hospitality, Graham Wood, explained: “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.”
The group pointed out that existing hotel reservations that are scheduled for arrival up to and including 15 July 2021 can be changed to an alternative date for stay by November 30, 2021 or cancelled at no charge. All deposits will be refunded in case of cancellation.
Similarly, Sun Vacation Club reservations can be postponed to a future date or space banked.
“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,” said Wood.
“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,” he added.
Sun International’s share price fell almost 9% in afternoon trade on Monday (R18.15 at 13h35) following news of stricter Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in South Africa.
Other gaming and hotel counters listed on the JSE, including Tsogo Sun Gaming, Tsogo Sun Hotels and City Lodge, also saw falls in stock prices.