In­dus­try over­view: Gam­bling has come on hard times

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Adri Senekal de Wet

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.

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