Casino survey shows SA government is major beneficiary

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Categories : Travel news

Casinos have added R143-billion to the country's GDP since gambling was legalised in 1996. This is according to results from the casino industry's 2009 survey released by the Casino Association of South Africa [CASA].

The GDP contribution during the 2008/9 financial year was over R20-billion.

The survey shows government as the industry's major beneficiary, receiving approximately 37% of value-add, or R4.1-billion in revenue.

According to the economic impact study, which forms part of the survey, 28% of turnover was spent on goods and services, of which over 40% favoured BEE companies.

The information used in the survey was drawn from statistics published by the national and provincial gambling boards, casino companies themselves and independent studies produced by industry related bodies such as the National Responsible Gambling Programme [NRGP].

During the period under review casinos contributed more than R60 million in corporate social nvestment [CSI] activities, while the cumulative contribution since 1996 has amounted to some R286-million.

Since the casino construction era of the 1990s, the industry's total capital expenditure has totalled a staggering R18.8 billion. If this amount were to be adjusted to today's value, taking inflation into account, then this spending would be the equivalent of five new 60 000-seat sports stadiums.

The industry has spawned close to 48 000 industry-related jobs and, together with indirect jobs, the figure is nearly 90 000.

CASA chairman and CEO of Sun International David Coutts-Trotter said: "The data collected by the survey strengthens CASA's conviction that over the past 13 years, South Africa's casino industry has become a significant player in the country's provincial economies, the growth of national tourism business and the expansion of safe and trustworthy recreational opportunities."

Derek Auret, CEO of CASA said: "It is of course in tourism, both domestic and foreign, that the impact of the industry has been most marked. While it cannot be argued that many tourists come to South Africa with the specific objective of gambling, the non-gambling facilities associated with the casino developments have greatly expanded the range of tourism infrastructure, thus enhancing South Africa's status as a destination. "

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