In just over ten years, 100,000 new jobs and more than R15 billion have been ploughed into the South African economy. The benefactor: the local casino industry. Such rapid expansion will continue with three new casinos set to open up across the nation.
Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) chairman, Mr. Jabu Mabuza stated that new resort developments at Golden Valley, Emperors Palace, Suncoast, Carnival City and Montecasino have bolstered the tourism sector. He announced that in only two years, through corporate social responsibility initiatives, the sector has invested roughly R70 million domestically.
Problem gambling, given the widespread poverty in South Africa, is taken care of by the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP). This successful endeavor has seen incidents of problem gambling decline, through intensive educational initiatives. Affirmative action is a hot political potato in South Africa. With millions of impoverished people, transformation is necessary.
Ownership and management of the country's tourism and leisure assets is increasing. Black South Africans are reaping the rewards of AA policy. On this note, casinos are helping to develop local communities. With R4 billion in casino tax revenues, the government has poured funding into reconstruction and development. The industry's estimated turnover for 2007 was R14 billion.
Casa and regulation
33 of the nation's 34 casinos are represented by Casa. The gambling industry provides more than tax revenue; they provide diverse entertainment to South Africans and foreigners alike. The SA casino industry is highly regulated. Defaulting by casinos may lead to revocation of their gambling licenses.
As for online gambling, the National Gambling Amendment Act will provide opportunity for applications for online gambling licenses in the near future. Foreign gambling companies currently target SA as a lucrative market, but the industry is still shy of all-out regulation.