The increasing numbers of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic have prompt the Zambian government to impose some new restrictions for land-based casino operators. Secretary to the cabinet disclosed Simon Miti said during a briefing in Lusaka that bars, casinos, and nightclubs would only operate from Friday 18:00 to Sunday 22:00.
Meanwhile, a few months back, the Zambia Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has warned Casino operators against turning Gaming clubs into bars. The minister said casino outlets should continue to operate as gambling places and serve their purpose rather than turning them into drinking spots. These remarks came when he appeared on local Radio station Delight FM Chinsali District of Muchinga Province. Mr Kampyongo said there would be stiff punishment for those operators that might go against President Edgar Lungu’s directive.
Further, he also urged all those that will visit the Casinos to observe social distancing and ensure they wear face masks all the time. The minister noted that all those that go against the presidential directive risk having their businesses suspended or their licenses revoked while police and other law enforcement wings will continue with patrols day and night. And there adhere to health guidelines as they continue the business operation. Yet, the minister’s warning was burned out by the ongoing report of rumours going around that some casino operators are gradually using the casino clubs, turning them into bars to create an environment for customers to feel at home and have fun when they visit the casino outlets. The directive was practical at the expense of curbing gambling addiction because the authorities realize it is not fair enough for the players visiting casino places.
“Casino outlets serve as a bar where people come to take alcohol as this will lead to severe health damage to the players who will not be in the best position to decide to walk away should things not going as he plans,” he said.
However, the recent spike in the covid-19 spread is a setback for different sectors that adhere to the new guidelines, especially for land-based casino operators, which is a devastating blow to their business mandated to open their business on weekends only. However, Zambia is an exciting market for casino business in Africa; just like the sports betting industry, which is a competitive market, in a nutshell, there are several casino outlets, notably in Lusaka, such as Galaxy casinos the Great Wall Casino.
They can find some in other provinces such as Casino Resort Makeni, the Falls Casino, Livingston, and the new Fairmount hotel and casino Livingstone. These casinos outlets serve players who are well equipped with a wide assortment of table games, slot machines, video games, and poker games. Including Caribbean stud poker, multi-line slots, blackjack, and American roulette meet international standards.
Interestingly, the casino industry also works interchangeably with tourism in Zambia as virtually casinos serve as tourist attractions that attract around 1 million tourists annually, contributing immensely to the country’s GDP.
Source: E-Play Africa