Slow South Africa Casino Growth Sends Sun International to Latin America
Sun International, the South African gaming and hospitality group, is seeking to expand its portfolio in Latin America, after stating that the growth of the local market was slow going. Sun International recently merged with Dreams SA, whereby it obtained a majority portion of the Latin American casino operator that has multiple hotels, restaurants and casinos in its portfolio. Dreams SA’s properties incorporate over 6,500 slot machines and 33 table games in Chile, Columbia, Panama and Peru.
The chief executive of Sun International, Graeme Stephen said that plans to bid for more casino licenses in Chile next year were “well advanced”. He also said that there were plans to expand further in Peru, as well as Brazil as the latter opens up to licensed casinos.
Stephen explained to Reuters that Sun International has “low level of debt” in Latin America, and this therefore gives the South African casino group capacity to finance new deals on the South American continent.
He said that around 30% of Sun International’s revenue originates from Latin America, and over the next few years, the group expects this proportion to increase as it capitalizes on opportunities that are in the pipeline.
According to the chairman of Sun International, ValliMoosa, the merger with Dreams SA has been completed and “Sun International now has a controlling interest in the largest gaming group” in Latin America.
“The current pipeline of strategic opportunities in that region has been established, with the executive team in LatAm directly responsible for implementation,” added the chairman.
Analysts have noted that Stephens has led Sun International into a successful expansion of the South American gambling market. He will be leaving his position at the gaming group in April next year.
Most Revenue from South African Gambling
Despite Sun International’s expansion into the Latin American market, it should be noted that the group still earns nearly 70% of its revenue in South Africa (and 73% of its profits).
The group is still keen to focus on South African gaming and hospitality opportunities, and for this reason is pulling out of its Nigerian commitments. The money raised will help Sun International continue to grow in South Africa and Latin America.
New Sun International Company Secretary
In other news, Sun International announced that AG Johnston has assumed the permanent role as group company secretary after AM Lemming stepped down as interim company secretary with effect from November 16th.