One of the largest casino operators in South Africa has reportedly warned the government against passing new legislation that would allow licensed gambling venues in the nation’s Western Cape province to relocate.
According to a report from G3Newswire, the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Act of 1996 brought casino gaming to five of the province’s municipalities while additionally granting each venue a decade-long exclusivity period.
However, this provision has reportedly expired with legislators in the southern African nation now considering whether to ratify the succeeding draft Western Cape Nineteenth Gambling and Racing Amendment Bill of 2018. This measure would permit licensed gambling firms to move their casinos to more profitable locations within the province with plans already said to be in the works that would bring new venues to the Tygerberg and Table Bay areas of Cape Town.
Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive Officer for Sun International, declared that the passage of the new legislation would hurt his firm’s GrandWest Casino in Cape Town and Golden Valley Casino near the town of Worcester. He purportedly also proclaimed that the measure could possibly lead to a 24% decline in the venues’ annual gross gaming revenues due to a predicted 20% deterioration in attendance.
“The amendment, if granted, will permit the respective casino operator to relocate their licensed operations from their existing locations in the outlying areas to the newly-established Table Bay and eastern region,” reportedly read a statement from Leeming. “The majority of job losses will be from the casino but a drop in footfall will result in additional and similar job losses in the supporting operations at GrandWest Casino as many of these businesses are entirely dependent on footfall generated by the casino. If Worcester is to close, 92 employees are forecast to lose their jobs alongside a reduction of $680,750 in supplier spend.”
However, Jacques Booysen, Chief Executive Officer for fellow Johannesburg-headquartered casino operator Tsogo Sun, reportedly stated that his firm is ‘supportive of the possibility of relocating outlying casinos’ closer to Cape Town so long as the process ‘is done in a manner that makes commercial sense for us.’
Tsogo Sun is the firm behind Western Cape’s Garden Route Casino, Mykonos Casino and The Caledon venues with Booysen reportedly furthermore detailing that his company had already considered the proposed legislation and intends to submit its official comments by the end of the month.