Faced with the constant decline in the attendance rate and the restrictions linked to Covid-19, the South African casino and hotel group Sun International has taken the decision to reduce its staff by reducing the payroll. At least 2,300 local employees are affected by this measure, bad news that falls in this period of health crisis.
Gambling establishments in trouble
Recently, Sun International disclosed the financial results for the last six months which ended on June 30, 2020. According to the published figures, the group recorded a decrease in its revenues to 3.7 billion rand, or 223 million US dollars. The deficit is half of the amount obtained during the same period in 2019. As a result, profits fell by 96% with an operating loss of R706m.
Faced with the spread of Covid-19, all commercial sites owned by Sun have had to be closed and cease all activity. This closure strongly contributed to the drop in turnover in the first half of the year by 55%. The situation also affects many countries such as Nigeria and ESwatini. The complications continue and date well before the measures taken against the Coronavirus epidemic. Indeed, Sun is on the verge of streamlining its operations by separating from several assets in Chile, Argentina and Peru after an agreement stipulating the sale of its majority stake in the Sun Dream casino and betting sector. In terms of losses, the firm’s casinos show revenues down 56%,
On the territory, the reopening of casinos was made on 1 st July 2020 respecting the barriers gestures. Reception capacity has been reduced as have the opening hours in the various accessible spaces. The bars and restaurants of the establishments are always closed reducing more and more the clientele. According to Sun’s statements, casino gaming revenues are starting to gradually increase thanks to its online platform. In the process, Sun City’s main property reopened this week and two other sites, Table Bay in Cape Town and Maslow Sandton, are still inaccessible.
Employees on the sidelines
During this health crisis, Sun International is taking precautions and plans to reduce employee compensation as much as possible by up to 60%. This process takes place within the framework of the reduction of the workforce according to article 189A which stipulates that companies have the possibility of dismissing many unionized employees. The group said many of its properties are affected including Sun City, Boardwalk, Wild Coast, Table Bay and Maslow Sandton. CEO Anthony Leeming made no secret of his disappointment and indicated that the company was forced to resort to this drastic measure in order to get back on the water. The manager also adds the caution remains in order to adapt to the current situation.