Sun International's hopes that the relocation process of its Morula Sun Casino and Hotel to Menlyn Maine, Pretoria, would go smoothly, have been dashed with yet another legal challenge. The group is already up against a lawsuit brought against the relocation process by over a dozen community based organizations. Now, Sun International has learned that Peermont Global and Goldrush Gaming Group, owners of Emperors Palace, have issued a lawsuit against the Gauteng Gambling Board's decision to approve the relocation from Mabopane to Menlyn Maine.
This week, Peermont Global confirmed that it had launched a court challenge against Sun International and the rights given to the casino and gambling group to change the conditions of its Gauteng gambling license.
The Public Relations Manager for Peermont Global, Julie van Wyk said that besides confirming that a legal challenge had been launched, she was not allowed – by law – to comment any further on the case until further notice.
An executive with Goldrush Gaming Group (formerly Viva Bingo) also confirmed that they had joined the lawsuit to challenge Sun International's relocation approval.
According to Allan Scott of Goldrush, there were serious questions surrounding the validity of the new license and whether it met the standards of the Gauteng Gambling Act. Scott claims that there is no section within the law allowing a license simply to be replaced by another, as was the case when Sun International was granted a license to operate at Menlyn Maine instead of the current Mabopane license.
The Gauteng Gambling Board allowed Sun International to relocate its casino after it was convinced that no amount of marketing efforts or funds infusion would reverse the decline of the Morula Sun, and that the only way to see any revenue was to move its venue to a better place.
In the meantime, Sun International is going ahead with its plans to construct the new casino in east Pretoria. Michael Farr, speaking for the group, said that while the objections were been dealt with as they are raised, "we are hoping to complete our final planning within six months."
"Construction is scheduled for 30 months, but the commencement may depend on the legal processes that are being conducted by the objectors," he said.
The proposed project will cost R3 billion and will be known as Times Square at Menlyn Maine.