Positive Outlook for SA’s Gambling Industry
Over the long term, and thanks to improving economic conditions in the long run, the gambling industry in South Africa will continue to grow and contribute to the country’s economy and employment opportunities. This is the forecast given by the Leader of the Hospitality and Gambling Industry for PricewaterhouseCoopers in South Africa, Pietro Calicchio. The executive was speaking ahead of this year’s ICE Africa event, scheduled to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in late October this year. The event will bring together the gaming industry on the African continent.
“The gambling industry in South Africa will continue to be adversely affected in the near term by slower economic growth, but improving economic conditions over the latter part of the forecast period will aid growth,” said Calicchio. “The industry remains an important contributor to the economy through the creation of jobs, continued capital expansion and the payment of taxes to both provincial and national government.”
Without a doubt, South Africa remains Africa’s most popular gambling destination. The country has 40 casinos and around 38,000 slot machines. From the time that the South African government legalized gambling in 1994, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds and is now worth an estimated R23 billion. The industry contributes billions into the country’s economy.
PwC believes that the South African gambling industry will grow at a rate of 5% per year, and by 2021 will be worth nearly R35 billion.
Naturally, gambling is not confined to just South Africa, and there are approximately 30 countries across the continent that offer brick and mortar casinos or other types of gaming machines. Many of the key gambling countries in Africa, including Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Namibia will all be sending representatives to the ICE Africa event. With growth, however, also comes tighter regulations, and African countries will need to discuss these issues so that sustainability can be ensured for operators and countries alike.
The ICE Africa event has already lined up John Kamara, international speaker and Director for Global Gaming Africa to act as the event’s ambassador.