JOHANNESBURG, March 17 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Sun International said on Tuesday that it will close all of its casinos in Chile, along with its hotels and food and beverage operations, in response to instructions received from Chilean gambling authorities.
The hotel and casino operator said in a statement it received the instructions from the Chilean Superintendency of Gambling Casinos as the Latin American country rushes to contain the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 7,000 people globally.
Sun International said it will be closing the operations from March 18- March 29.
“The relevant authorities have also closed our operations in Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Panama and at this stage it is not certain when they will be allowed to reopen,” the firm said,
“The measures taken are in accordance with the instructions of the pertinent authorities, in order to ensure the containment of the spread of the virus. The authorities will continue to monitor the situation to determine when we will be permitted to reopen.”
Casino companies have already reported a pinch in their businesses targeting wealthy tourists from Asia due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, but shutting doors also keeps away domestic gamblers.
Sun International added that it was not yet possible to determine the effects of the closures.
On Monday, CEO Anthony Leeming said the firm was already handling cancellations of conference bookings and events by clients as companies rush to contain the spread of the coronavirus. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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