The Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) recently released its report, Survey of Casino Entertainment in South Africa for 2016. This eleventh issue of the report provides key industry role players with valuable insights into the state of the national commercial casino industry in the country.
The report found that there was a 1.8% decline in revenue – the first time that this has happened since the inception of the casino industry in South Africa. The report showed that a great part of this decrease was due to the fact that South Africa’s economy is on the downturn, but also because illegal gambling impacts the industry as a whole.
Despite this dip in revenue, CASA points out that its licensed casino industry continues to greatly contribute towards employment, infrastructure development and social responsibility in South Africa. According to the report, CASA members (comprising 36 out of the 38 casinos in the country), contributed R5.9 billion in taxes to the economy.
“The casino industry continues to positively impact our national, provincial and local economies making a significant contribution …” reads the report.
Concerns Over Regulatory Environment
One of the things that CASA touched on in its report is concerns regarding the regulatory environment within which its member casinos operate. It pointed to the example of the granting of an additional casino license to the North West Province.
“CASA raised its objection to this publicly and we stand by our view that there is no reasonable justification for this additional license,” said the group. “It is our view that this move by Government promotes instability and negatively impacts investor confidence.”
CASA also remains in continued negotiations with the government regarding the fast-tracked roll out of electronic bingo terminals without a national regulatory framework to support it.
Threat of Illegal Gambling
CASA also mentioned online gambling in its report, voicing its concern about the growth of illegal online gambling in the country. It urged the government to enforce heavy penalties on “transgressors” and bemoaned the fact that “these are yet to materialize.”
“We urge Government to address this threat prior to the implementation of any new policy,” said the group.