With President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring a state of emergency on Sunday, stringent measures have been put into place to control and contain the coronavirus outbreak. Many industries are feeling the financial impact of the new measures in place.
The impact is also huge on the casino industry, who have come up with a game plan on how to keep the momentum going while ensuring the health and safety of all South Africans.
Below is a guide of how casinos in Joburg and Pretoria will be operating during these tough times.
Montecasino, Gold Reef City and Silverstar
Falling under the Tsogo Sun umbrella, they have closed down some services but kept others open.
Although restaurants at all Tsogo Sun Gaming properties are currently open for business, all events and various conferences have been cancelled as well as gaming promotion draws that would attract large crowds have been postponed.
They also suspended liquor sales on all their casino floors until further notice. The brand also closed its major theatres such as The Teatro at Montecasino The Lyric at Gold Reef City Gold Reef City Theme Park and Barnyard Theatres at Silverstar and Suncoast (Durban).
A statement posted on the Tsogo Sun website states that: “Additional measures have been implemented at Tsogo Sun Gaming’s 13 casino and entertainment destinations to inform staff and visitors about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and provide them with tools to reduce the risk of infection”.
They also made medical-grade sanitizers available at entrance checkpoints and other stations around the complex and outsourced cleaning companies as well as increased frequency of cleaning with medical-grade sanitizers of all surfaces on the casino floor, in bathrooms and other areas.
The Palace, which is the busiest Casinos in the east of Johannesburg, has closed down two hotels and cancelled all main shows. In a statement that they issued, they said that they’ve increased their safety and health measures.
“The well-being and safety of Emperors Palace, Peermont Resort guests and employees is vitally important, and we are taking cognisance in the light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, we have stepped up recommended precautionary measures.
"Our employees have been briefed on the guidelines provided by the health authorities and we have taken necessary actions including sanitising public areas, wiping commonly touched surfaces and extra hand sanitiser dispensers have been deployed to key public and employee areas.
"The on-site clinic is fully compliant and are employing Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP). We remain vigilant and will work closely with local authorities for the health and safety of all stakeholders,” read the statement.
Time Square Casino
Sun International issued a statement on Thursday morning stating that all their upcoming shows and events have been postponed or cancelled for the near future. They said as soon they have clarity about the period of the ban on mass gatherings, they will reschedule the events where possible.
“We have always adhered to the strictest principles of hygiene and cleanliness at all of our hotels, casinos and other facilities. In addition to our ongoing cleaning schedules, we have introduced additional enhanced cleaning and other practices for housekeeping and food and beverage areas,” read the statement.
They said they have made hand sanitisers available at all entrances to hotels, casinos and conference areas, as well as in staff areas.
They also insisted that all their staff do not wear gloves as they create a sense of false security and can create further hygiene issues. Gloves are therefore only used by our housekeeping staff on occasions such as when handling linen and using cleaning chemicals.