Land-based casinos across Africa, aswell ass around the world, have begun reopening as lockdown restrictions ease. This is economically vital for many countries, but caution must still be exercised to prevent another disaster.
As lockdown conditions around the world begin to ease, businesses are slowly beginning to reopen. Experts warn that extreme caution must still be exercised, and operations have had to be adjusted to continue to control the spread of the virus. This is as true for land-based casinos in Africa as for any other enterprises.
The fact that almost every industry has suffered substantial losses in the wake of the novel coronavirus and subsequent lockdown measures is certainly no secret. The economic slump is what has led certain countries to allow gambling and other destinations to welcome customers once again. Zambian restaurants and gyms as well as casinos resumed trade as early as May 2020, and President Edgar Lungu authorised the reopening of Victoria Falls in the middle of that month.
Ghanaian establishments have also started up again and the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana allowed the Grand Palm Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort, which has been closed since 26 March 2020, to open its doors at the beginning of June. Businesses around the rest of the world are doing the same, with nightclubs, cinemas and casinos hosting guests in Australia and British operators authorised to open their land-based casinos on 4 July.
Serious Precautions are in Place
The threat of COVID-19 is not gone, and many places around the world have seen an increase in cases as lockdown measures are eased. With that in mind, as economically critical as it is for businesses to resume their operations, they need to do so with extreme caution. In Botswana, the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry gave orders that gamblers’ temperatures be checked as they enter, and that public areas be regularly sanitised, among other stipulations.
In addition, although the popular slot machines are available 24 hours a day at The Palm as usual, half of them are switched off to allow for social distancing measures. Table games are open between 2:00 pm and 2:00 am only, under strict conditions including a limit on how many players are allowed to sit at each table. Strict hygiene and social distancing measures will also be in place at locations in Great Britain and Australia.
In Las Vegas, several casinos have opened, and The Flamingo even hosted a pool party – although very few people attended, and surfaces were rigorously and regularly scrubbed down. Clearly, gamblers and operators around the world are eager to return to normal but are still trying to determine exactly what post-coronavirus normal is.