According to the latest figures released by the Casino Association of South Africa, the country’s casino operators contributed more the 70% of the whole gambling industry’s R24 billion to the gross domestic product. A total of R17.2 billion was provided as casino income in the 2014/2015 period – a 4.5% increase compared to the same time in the previous year.
According to the Casino Association, South African casino operators “contributed R5.7-billion towards government tax revenue in the form of various taxes and levies‚ which represents 37% of the value generated by them this year”.
With such a significant contribution made to the economy, CASA is hopeful that the gambling authorities in South Africa would create a more flexible operating environment.
The chief executive officer of CASA, ThembaNgobese said that despite the economic downturn, the association’s study reveals a slight growth in the casino industry highlights once more the important contribution that casinos make towards the country’s economy.
“This is an exciting and fast-paced industry that is surviving despite the depressed economy and resultant decrease in consumer spending,” he said.
According to Ngobese, South African casino operators invested around R2.3 billion – around 13.4% of their revenue in capital expenditure at their properties around the country. The money was also used to support around 64,000 direct places of employment.
Ngobese said that the South African casino industry is a significant employer in the entertainment, food, accommodation and beverage sector. He said that his had a multiplier effect which affected the rest of the economy for the better.
Casino operators also spend R134 million on corporate social investment. Of this, R56 million was directed to education, while R32 million was directed towards local communities in which the casinos operated. CASA members spent R26 million more on social causes than the last period.
Ngobese said that there was no doubt that local casinos play a positive effect on the country’s economy. He called on the South African policymakers to thus create a more flexible operating environment for operators and to reconsider some of the proposals outlined in the draft National Liquor Policy.
“In order for the gambling industry to continue serving the economy, we need policies introduced that allow the industry to innovate, reinvest and contribute towards local communities,” he said.
CASA represents the interests of South Africa’s legal casino gaming industry, as well as the public that visits these casinos.