Industry overview: Gambling has come on hard times
THE CASINO Association of South Africa (Casa) will publish financial results for 2016/2017 within the next few weeks.
Casa members include Tsogo Sun, Sun International, Peermont Global and Caesars Entertainment EMEA.
Casa, founded in 2003, represents the interests of the R18 billion casino industry in South Africa. Its members contributed almost R6bn towards the government’s tax revenue in the previous financial year, supporting more than 64 000 direct jobs and more than 7 000 indirect jobs outsourced to security and cleaning companies.
Approximately R6bn was paid to suppliers and R16.4bn of value was created.
The entertainment sector reflects the impact of an economic recession long before the SA Reserve Bank, economists or Statistics SA releases data on the performance of the local economy. Casa chief executive Advocate Themba Ngbese will announce a decline in revenue in October, he told Business Report recently.
“We feel the impact of the recession first; our customers, are battling”. Reality is that South Africans are spending less on entertainment, eating out, playing golf, going to the theatre, rejuvenate in spa or gambling.
Casa spend R165 million on corporate social initiatives in the previous financial year and their members funded the SA Responsible Gambling Foundation that focus on prevention, treatment counselling and research with regards to problem gambling.
Casa chairperson, Jabu Mabuza, stated in a recent casino survey: “It is our firm belief that through partnership with the government and open consultation, we can work together to develop policies that create an environment conducive to growth and expansion.”
Yet the threat of illegal gambling, especially online illegal gambling, continued to be a risk factor.
The government should address this threat, Mabuza said.