It seems increasingly likely that one of the Western Cape’s five casinos will be able to relocate to the centre of Cape Town.
Western Cape is hoping that by moving one of the province’s five casinos to the centre of Cape Town they will be able to stimulate tourism in the area through the attraction of high rollers.
Today was the deadline for the public to submit comments on a change to the provincial law which oversees gambling in the Western Cape. According to national legislation, the Western Cape Province is only allowed to have five casinos and most of these are located outside of the main Cape area.
The Grand West casino, which is run by Sun International, is based in the northern Cape Town suburb of Goodwood. They had an exclusivity license which expired in 2010. The other four casinos are located in the towns of Langebaan, Caledon, Mossel Bay and Worcester.
If the law is changed then the casinos will be able to move to the city centre for up to ten years. However, an exact location for any city centre casino is yet to be decided upon.
Alan Winde, the Western Cape MEC, believes that if a casino is moved to the Cape Town Metro, it should increase the city’s popularity as a tourist destination, which in turn will increase tax revenue and improve the livelihoods of those who live in the area.
According to Cheree Dyers, an analyst with Prescient Securities said that Sun International believes that a second casino in the area would affect its business. Sun International is yet to comment, but it is known that they have submitted comment on the proposed license.
Dyers went on to say that whilst gambling does create money for government and other industries, it seems to have reached a plateau within South Africa. According to Dyers, during economic difficulties gambling revenue is reduces and that a new casino in the area may not stimulate the economy as much as the government believes.