Sun International has announced that two if its casinos, including the once-iconic Carousel Casino in the North West, are to close permanently. The company said in a statement that both properties will not reopen once the national lockdown ends.
Naledi and Carousel have suffered from escalating costs and declining revenues over the past few years. This, coupled with the economic effects of the shutdown, has left Sun International with no option but to close the businesses, it stated.
CEO Anthony Leeming acknowledged that there had been no alternative for the government but to implement a lockdown in order to save lives.
Financial burden of the lockdown was a factor
“The inevitable financial burden it placed on us has impacted on our ability to continue subsidising underperforming properties,” Leeming said. “It was within this construct that we took the extremely difficult decision to permanently close both properties.”
“Naledi has run at a loss for several years, while the Carousel too has incurred losses for some time. We previously made every effort to turn both businesses around, but these efforts have not achieved the desired results.”CEO Anthony Leeming
“We are deeply saddened that we have had to take this decision at this difficult time.”
Company will now engage with unions and employees
Sun International has now begun the process of engaging with gaming boards, relevant unions and employees.
Naledi Casino is located in Thaba Nchu in the Free State, around 60km from Bloemfontein, and opened in 1989. According to an SABC News report, it employs 66 people.
The Carousel is located at Hammanskraal, around 50km from Pretoria, and opened in 1991. In its heyday it drew gamblers from the Johannesburg and Pretoria metropolitan areas, and became known for hosting major boxing events. Sun International did not disclose the number of jobs at risk there