South African land gambling notes first revenue decrease in 20 years

News on 19 Oct 2017

The Casino Association of South Africa (CASA), has reported in its 12th annual survey of the legal land casino industry that for the first time in 20 years there was a decrease in gambling revenue.

Members of the Association reported gross gambling revenue of Rands 17.8 billion in the year to end March 2017‚ down 1.8 percent year-on-year. The Association attributed the downturn to “…current economic conditions negatively impacting consumers’ disposable income, and revenue erosion from illegal online gambling”.

The province of Gauteng remained the largest contributor to gross revenue with Rands 7.363 billion, down 1.6 percent y-o-y, whilst the Western Cape saw GGR grow 5.3 percent compared to the same period in the preceding year.

The worst performer was the North West province which saw GGR plunge 22.1 percent year-on-year…the result, according to the Association, of national government’s controversial decision in 2016 to allocate an additional casino licence in the province.

CASA chairman Jabu Mabuza commented:

“What emerges is a picture of an industry that‚ although displaying strengths in certain key areas‚ is undeniably facing a number of challenges. Some of these are beyond our control: for instance‚ the 1.8 percent drop in gross gambling revenue [is] primarily attributed to the erosion of gambling revenue by illegal gambling operators, especially illegal online gambling operations, which continue to grow unabated.

“Our current economic climate‚ has also had significant implications on how much money is available to consumers as disposable income and how they choose to spend it.”

Mabuza once again called on the relevant authorities to crack down on illegal gambling, and reminded government that 36 percent – Rands 5.9 billion – from CASA member activity went to local‚ provincial and national governments in the form of various taxes and levies, along with substantial sums paid to employ South Africans, pay suppliers and spend on social responsibility projects (where members spent a total of Rands 155 million).

He also noted that CASA members invested almost Rands 2 billion in capital expenditure in the current year under review – 11 percent of GGR

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