The gaming market in South Africa is reportedly expected to bring in annual aggregated gross revenues of at least ZAR35 billion ($2.49 billion) by 2021 and contribute total taxes every year of around ZAR3.5 billion ($249.49 million).

According to a report from the Johannesburg-based Business Report newspaper, this prediction is contained within the sixth annual edition of the Gambling Outlook for South Africa investigation published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.

The newspaper reported that the envisaged 2021 figure for aggregated gross gaming revenues would represent an over 29% swell from last year’s tally of ZAR27 billion ($1.92 million) with tax takings similarly well exceeding 2016’s reckoning of just over ZAR2.7 billion ($192.75 million).

The study moreover reportedly explained that South African casinos, which directly employ in excess of 10,000 people across the country, accounted for some 66% of last year’s gross gaming revenues and paid ZAR1.8 billion ($128.84 million) in taxes while the betting sector sat second with a combined contribution of ZAR430 million ($30.73 million).

The newspaper explained that bingo was highlighted as the fastest growing sector of the industry as it chalked up a 36.6% boost year-on-year in gross gaming revenues last year. This activity reportedly accounted for 5% of combined takings, which represented a 1% increase from 2015, with the province of Gauteng leading the way after it recorded a 37.6% rise to ZAR813 million ($58.13 million).

The PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited investigation furthermore predicted that bingo’s annual aggregated gross gaming revenues by 2021 would hit ZAR2.2 billion ($157.37 million), which would represent a compounded growth rate of almost 12%.

Finally, after registering year-on-year declines in every one of the four years up to 2016, lottery sales reportedly rebounded in 2016 with combined revenues climbing by 34.7% when compared with 2015 to hit ZAR2.98 billion ($213.17 million).

Pietro Calicchio from PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited reportedly told Business Report that South Africa’s gaming industry would ‘continue to be adversely affected in the near-term by slower economic growth’ before improving conditions closer to 2021 ‘aid growth’.

“The industry remains an important contributor to the economy through the creation of jobs, continued capital expansion and the payment of taxes to both provincial and national government,” Calicchio reportedly told the newspaper.

On a darker note, Calicchio reportedly proclaimed that the illegal gaming market remains a ‘problem’ in South Africa and last year led to the nation losing approximately 3,785 jobs and around ZAR1.9 billion ($135.96 million) in gross domestic product.