Sun International closes Carousel, Naledi casinos
The decision follows the impact of the pandemic and declining revenue, Sun International said.
In view of these factors, the company said the Carousel would not be reopening after the lockdown regulations were lifted. The same fate would apply to Naledi Casino.
decision follows the impact of the pandemic and declining revenue.
It indicated that this, coupled with the negative economic effect of the lockdown, left Sun International with no alternative but to close both casinos.
Sun International chief executive Anthony Leeming said: “Given the unprecedented crisis South Africa is facing we accept authorities had no option but to implement a countrywide lockdown to protect lives.
“However, the inevitable financial burden it placed on us has impacted on our ability to continue subsidising under-performing properties. It was within this context that we took the extremely difficult decision to permanently close both properties.”
Leeming said Naledi Casino had run at a loss for several years. Carousel had also incurred losses for some time.
He said that despite efforts made to turn both businesses around, nothing had yielded the desired results.
He said they had begun engaging with gaming boards, relevant unions and employees on the decision taken.
“We are deeply saddened that we have had to take this decision at this difficult time.”
Lucas Ramatlhodi, secretariat co-ordinator of the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, however, accused the company of using the pandemic as a scapegoat to recklessly close casino operations.
Ramatlhodi said the company had a responsibility to act within the ambit of the law and consult stakeholders before such decisions were taken.
He said that while they were aware that the country was facing a crisis nationally in terms of joblessness, the laws of the country still had to be followed.
“The announcement by the company pinning things on the Covid-19 pandemic was reckless and irresponsible at best and as a union, we will be seeking recourse with the courts against this action.
“For now, our concern is our members who are at their lowest point and not even sure what their future holds because many of them were not earning much and practically next to the poverty line.”
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