Hotel, gaming and entertainment group Tsogo Sun Holdings is eyeing to be at the center of South Africa’s economic rebound. The strategy: Add more square meters and betting machines to its casino venues around the continent.
In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Marcel Von Aulock said the company has already finished transforming its portfolio, and all that’s left now if “waiting for the uptick to come.”
The Johannesburg-based company, which gets about 65 percent of its profit from gaming, has already completed upgrading two of its four largest casinos, and is investing ZAR2 billion (USD139 million to expand its Suncoast gaming and entertainment site in the coastal city of Durban.
Despite the economic challenges South Africa is currently facing—its economy is forecast to grow at its slowest pace since the 2009 recession—Tsogo’s gaming wins rose by 6 percent in the year until March, while revenue at its hotels grew by as much as 9 percent due to “a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter.”
Tsogo is sticking to its thriving, core domestic market, at least for now. The company has nixed plans to add casinos outside of South Africa due to its wariness of “unfamiliar rules, regulators, and customers that come with international expansion.”
“We just haven’t seen any reason for it,” Von Aulock told the news outlet. “Maybe one day when we completely run out of things to do in South Africa.”
Developer abandons plans to build casino in Port Elizabeth
Meanwhile, casino developer Emfuleni Resorts has abandoned its plans to build a mixed-use development in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This was after the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board decided not to extend the casino license of the Boardwalk Precinct, where the casino development will be located.
The development would have been the largest single investment in tourism and hospitality in the city at ZAR1.3 billion (USD88.35 million). The proposed development include a shopping mall, events venue and entertainment, and would have created 8,500 jobs, according to Intergame Online.