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New Casino Could Stimulate Cape Town's Economy

Published on 30 Apr 2012 at 13:24

April 30 - Debates for and against the introduction of a second casino in the Cape Town metro area were ongoing this week, with the Western Cape provincial government now having to decide which direction to take.

The public had until April 20th to comment on potential changes in the province's laws that would allow one of five casinos to relocate to the city area.

Sun International's GrandWest Casino, situated in Goodwood, Cape Town has, until now, held an exclusivity license to operate a casino in the Cape metropolitan area.

However, this license has expired and the government is now looking to change the law that one of the other four casinos - in Langebaan, Caledon, Mossel Bay and Worcester - will be allowed to relocate to the city center for a 10 year period.

While nobody has confirmed an exact site for the new Cape Town casino - should changes in the law be approved - it is believed that it would be located on or near the Waterfront, which continues to attract millions of tourists and local visitors each year.

New Cape Town Casino Could Boost Economy

Opinions are divided regarding how a new casino would affect Cape Town's economy, as well as other casino groups.

It is obvious that Sun International will suffer a drawback from having its exclusivity in the area removed should another casino inch its way in and offer an alternative to GrandWest.

Grand West Casino no doubt contributed heftily to the province's coffers in 2010, paying out nearly R120 million in taxes.

An analyst with Prescient Securities, Cheree Dyers, said that Sun International management had made comments regarding how a second casino in Cape Town would affect its business.

"However, we don't yet know what the detail of a possible new casino would be," said Dyers. "For instance, what type of target market they are looking at, and so on."

Sun International made their comments to the Western Cape provincial government when invited to do so, although it is not known what was said.

It is also thought, though, that a new casino may saturate the market, and may not contribute to the local economy as much as many hope it will.

"During tough economic times, gambling revenue drops off," said Dyers. "Whether or not a new casino in Cape Town may stimulate the economy as much as the government hopes would have to be seen."

Some top Sun International resorts include Sun City and Wild Coast Sun.
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