Poker faces will be masked at GrandWest and other casinos

GrandWest Casino. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Loyalty-programme guests will have first dibs on taking a gamble with lady luck, and Covid-19, when GrandWest and other Sun International casinos start reopening.

Anthony Leeming, CEO of Sun International, under which Grand West operates, says they are well prepared to reopen their operations, but it will be done in phases and only the “most valued guests” will have access to the casino floor in the early stages, and they will have to wear masks, undergo screening and have their temperatures checked.

He welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Wednesday June 17 of a further easing of the lockdown that will allow Sun International to soon reopen its casinos, hotels and restaurants.

Among the easing of restrictions are casinos, cinemas, theatres,hairdressers and beauty salons, restaurants for sit-down meals, accredited and licensed accommodation but not home-based accommodation such as Airbnb, conferences and meetings for business purposes. Also allowed are non-contact sports such as golf, cricket and tennis. The date from which the easing of restrictions will start has yet to be announced.

Once that date was announced, Sun International would start a staggered reopening, Mr Leeming said.

“For the foreseeable future, only members of our loyalty programme – our most valued guests – will be allowed access onto the casino floor,” he said, adding that all visitors would need to wear cloth masks at all times.

Sun International’s leisure attractions, golf courses and swimming pools would also reopen subject to regulatory guidance, said Mr Leeming.

“We have put in place world class health and safety protocols which are considerably beyond what is required. Our properties will observe strict head counts and social distancing rules.

“Prior to the lockdown, we had introduced social distancing queue management, while every alternative seat at our casino slot machines and tables was removed to create space between customers. Our restaurant layouts were also reconfigured to increase space between tables and meet head count limits. We had also introduced stringent and comprehensive cleaning, sanitising and front and back-of-house food handling and housekeeping procedures. These measures have now been further amplified across all areas of our properties countrywide.

“Once we reopen, we will conduct temperature tests for all customers at our hospitality, leisure and gaming operations, and all guests will need to complete a medical screening questionnaire on arrival at hotels, and in advance for casino visitors,” said Mr Leeming.  

“After an extended lockdown, we have put every measure in place to welcome our first guests back to our properties, and we will do everything required and more to keep them safe while they enjoy themselves.”