Eastern Cape calls for 40-LPM Slot Licences
South Africa’s Eastern Cape province has issued an RFP calling for applications for what the country calls Type D slots licences – essentially LPM (Limited Payout Machine Slots) or as they are more widely-known internationally, AWPs. Type D licences are a super-sized version of the licences normally allowed for LPMs – at sites like bars, pubs and taverns, which are capped at 5 LPM slots per venue.
Type D licences can best be compared to mini-casinos, as they make allowance for between 21-40 slots with limited stake and limited win. These slots, outside of legalised land-based casinos, have proven to be a bane for casino operataors, who often have had to spend millions, and in some cases billions of rands, to licence and construct Vegas-style hotel and casino resorts, whereas smaller operators can acquire gaming licences for a fraction of the cost in the LPM sector. However, the two markets are distinctly different and LPMs are designed to allow previously-disadvantaged businesss owners to own a slice of the lucrative gaming industry.
Closing date is 13th November; more info can be obtained from the ECGBB website: www.ecgbb.co.za
Sun International seeks investors for Swaziland shares
Following Sun International’s deal with MINT (Minor International) whereby Sun sold a portion of its African operations outside South Africa in 2015, the group continues to explore other opportunities looking for investors that could purchase their shares in SwaziSpa Holdings.
SwaziSpa is a subisidiary of Sun International that owns and operates a number of units in Swaziland, including the iconic Royal Swazi Spa Hotel & Casino – one of the first regional cross-border casinos along with Sun City, that became tourist havens for South Africans looking to have a flutter, prior to gambling being legalised in South Africa in the late 1990s.
This was disclosed by Area General Manager Lance Russouw: “Sun International Limited continues to explore other opportunities in addition to the MINT transaction for the sale of their shares in the company.” Asked to provide timelines when the transaction with Minor International Public Company Limited (MINT) which has not progressed and remains subject to the fulfillment would finally come to conclusion, Russouw said no date could be specified when the transaction would be finalised.
In the financial results for the six months ended June 30, 2017 which have been reviewed but not audited by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC) it was stated that the transaction with MINT had not progressed and remained subject to the fulfillment or waiver of certain conditions precedent.
It has been previously disclosed by the company directors that the acquisition of some shares of Sun International by MINT was still pending. The acquisition would result in Sun International’s effective shareholding in SWAZISPA decreasing from 50.6 per cent to 10.12 per cent with MINT acquiring an effective 40.48 per cent interest in SwaziSpa. Sun International and MINT will continue to hold their respective effective interest in SWAZISPA via St Vincent Investments United. The MINT acquisition is subject to the fulfilment or waiver of certain conditions precedent inter alia the finalisation of the transaction documents.
Gaming expert heralds new dawn for Africa following Clarion announcement
African gaming expert Roy Bannister believes the decision by Clarion Gaming to launch a new, free to attend, dedicated business event for Africa, will provide a springboard for the development of gaming across the continent.
Assessing the response to the launch of Gaming Africa (Johannesburg 24th and 25th October), which was announced to world media on 25th August, he said: “There has been a lot of excitement in the gaming and regulatory industry surrounding the launch of Clarion’s Gaming Africa, mainly as the industry here is crying out for a professionally run industry event that will draw all key customers and regulators. Excitement is high in the market that a world- renowned trade show operator like Clarion will be applying their expertise to African gaming.”
However Bannister believes that interest will not be confined to just the indigenous industry. “I anticipate a lot of interest from international visitors looking to get in on the action in a jurisdiction that is pretty hot at the moment” he stated. “One only needs to look at the trade press to see almost weekly announcements of deals being done in Africa, new developments and advances in sports betting, payment technologies and mobile growth that is fuelling a lot of excitement about the continent.
“That said, Africa has a vibrant land-based casino market led by South Africa’s 39 world- class casinos based on the Vegas style model of hotel-casino and entertainment complexes. Internationally recognised manufacturers like Novomatic, IGT, Scientific Games, Aruze, Konami, Aristocrat and the like have a serious presence here. Across the continent there are numerous casino and sports betting operations with varying degrees of sophistication in countries like Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Morocco, Mozambique and Angola and these all provide a growing market. So, we also find a lot of interest from African operators looking to see the latest gaming technology, looking to share knowledge and learn from their peers. There is also interest from numerous African regulators wanting to understand how to more effectively regulate their industries, as well as manufacturers looking to place the latest gaming technology on the continent and enable operators to run profitable gaming ventures.”
“Clarion will bring a professionally-run gaming event to the African continent, that will draw upon its international expertise and networking capabilities, and allow a market crying out for a world class gathering to finally be able to convene on the African continent and in the process, take the gaming industry to greater heights.”
Gaming Africa is a free-to-attend two-day conference in Johannesburg on 24-25th October. The decision to launch Gaming Africa follows requests from major industr y players for a quality business-to-business event dedicated to meet the continent’s specific gaming needs. The Clarion organising team has experience in the market having staged a highly successful World Regulator y Briefing (WrB) in Kenya earlier this year, which was preceded by WrB Nigeria in 2015.
For more information on Gaming Africa 2017, visit: www.gamingafrica.za.
Malawi to issue sports betting licence
The Malawian National Lotteries Board (NLB) is inviting proposals for a Sports Betting licence in terms of the Lotteries Act (Act No. 9 of 2003). The licence shall be issued under Section 36(2) of the Lotteries Act.
All procedural requirements for submission of a proposal are explained in a Request for Proposal (RFP) document that shall be released by the NLB. The RFP also contains the evaluation criteria that shall be applied by the NLB to award the sports betting licence. The NLB is therefore requesting all interested parties to express their interest in writing by the 18th August 2017 to:
Internal Procurement Committee
Malawi Gaming Board Offices
National Lotteries Board
Malawi Gaming Board Offices
Independence Drive, Opposite Namiwawa Primary
P O Box 3062
Tel: (265) 1 821 522
Fax: (265) 1 821 531
The aforesaid RFP can be obtained from the offices of
the NLB upon a cash payment of K50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Kwacha) or upon a Bank transfer to the NLB’s account. More information is available at:
http://www.gamingboard.org.mw/index.php/about- us/opportunites/tenders/169-invitation-to-apply-for-a- sports-betting-licence-in-malawi
Rio Casino launches newly-revamped Privé area
Rio Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort has opened its newly revamped Privé area to the public, with plenty of exciting new features, facilities and décor elements to offer guests the ultimate carnival-themed gaming experience. The fresh and contemporary update brings new life to the much loved Privé lounge, which maintains its signature vibrant and colourful aesthetic. A re-tiled entrance area, all-new carpeting and wallpaper, freshly painted ceilings and brand-new upholstery add to the Privé area’s exciting new look, along with enhanced lighting to highlight the area’s best features. The restrooms have also been refurbished with new vanity tops and tiling. “We are thrilled with how the Privé lounge has turned out and look forward to welcoming our regular Rio Casino guests and newcomers alike to the stunning, newly revamped Privé area,” says Mpho Mokoa, Marketing Manager for Rio Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort. “The revamp brings a different look and feel to the atmosphere and will enhance the overall gaming experience for customers engaging with the various gaming products at Rio.” There is currently one blackjack table, one roulette table, and 46 thrilling slot machines with denomination of between 50cents and R50 – five of which will be replaced with new Aruze machines.
Sun International unveils new Sun Meropa Hote
Saturday, 29th July 2017 marked the start of an exciting new era for Sun Meropa with the official unveiling of a new hotel at the complex. The opening of the upmarket Sun Meropa Hotel comes less than a year since Sun International and the Domba Empowerment Corporation (PTY) Ltd. announced the expansion plans for the complex. Construction workers and equipment have swarmed the site since September 2016 to complete the project ahead of schedule.
Sun International’s R76-million investment in the hotel at Sun Meropa forms part of the company’s commitment to the City of Polokwane and the Limpopo Gambling Board. In the last financial year, Sun Meropa directly contributed over R1.2 million in Socio Economic Development projects mainly in Education, Sports and Culture initiatives. And through the Domba Trust has also ploughed back over R8.9 million in various projects focused on education.
The hotel development provides economic stimulus for the region, through job creation and tourism to the area. Approximately 475 jobs were created directly and indirectly through the development, with the majority of labour sourced from the local community.
Sun Meropa’s General Manager, Peter Guthrie says the development reaffirms Sun Meropa’s commitment to supporting the city’s economic priorities, and growing Polokwane into a destination of choice for international and domestic travelers.
“We continuously strive towards excellence to enhance Sun Meropa’s appeal so as promote tourism to the city and thereby contribute to the local economy. By enhancing Sun Meropa with a quality hotel, offering a high standard of accommodation, we believe we can increase our contribution to economic growth and tourism in the area.
“We are delighted with the results of what has been a demanding, yet exciting, construction phase. With the largest, contemporary casino floor in Polokwane, a selection of dining and entertainment options and our beautiful new hotel, Sun Meropa is poised to become the premier leisure, business and conferencing destination in the region.”
The new Sun Meropa Hotel flows seamlessly into the casino complex and reflects the discerning Moroccan styled, architecture and aesthetics that make the complex distinctly Sun Meropa. The hotel boasts 60 immaculate rooms with a Moroccan theme. Including four suites and two Luxury suites. Catering to business and leisure travellers, the hotel features all amenities and the high quality of service that Sun International’s guests are accustomed to.
Sun Meropa, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in March this year, is a vibrant entertainment hub at the heart of Polokwane, offering an array of entertainment and experiences for young and old. The complex features the upmarket Harvest Grill & Wine restaurant; the contemporary Jembe Tavern which hosts regular live entertainment, and a well equipped and versatile conference centre. Sun Meropa hosts a variety of events annually, with artists such as Mi Casa, Candy, Muzo Bothers and Loyiso Gola amongst the well known entertainers that have graced its stage. The casino itself boasts 417 slot machines and 17 tables, including classics like Roulette, Blackjack and Poker.
Part of Sun International, Southern Africa’s premier gaming, hospitality and entertainment group, Sun Meropa offers guests the assurance of quality entertainment, premium facilities and the unparalleled high standard of service for which the company is renowned. Members of Sun International’s Sun MVG loyalty programme can access the array of benefits and rewards they qualify for at Sun Meropa.
Sun International recently reinvented its well recognised Most Valued Guest (MVG) loyalty programme to deliver more rewards, exciting benefits and exclusive offers to guests visiting its casinos and hotels in South Africa.
A key enhancement of the new Sun MVG programme is the opportunity it provides to customers to earn both casino and leisure points when playing slots, table games, staying in hotel rooms and dining at selected restaurants and outlets at Sun International properties. Casino Points can be used for playback on the slot machines and table games and Leisure Points for hotel accommodation, dining experiences or exciting entertainment.
Agile Capital acquires stake in Goldrush Group
Agile Capital, via its black- owned empowerment subsidiary Zico Capital, has acquired considerable equity in major gambling industry brand, the Goldrush Group (Pty) Ltd, through a significant BEE transaction.
Agile Capital pursues investments across diverse sectors as a key PE player in the local market, holding a broad portfolio spanning multiple industries. “We specifically target businesses offering tangible growth potential and solid operational track records,” notes Tshego Sefolo, CEO: Agile Capital. “Our investment criteria further includes a minimum EBITDA of R30m.” The current deal sees Agile extend the variety of its interests still further and enter the gambling industry via its acquisition of interest in gaming business holding company, the Goldrush Group (Pty) Ltd.
Goldrush is a diversified group holding gaming licences in most South African provinces and is focused on the bingo, sports betting and the limited payout machine (LPM) sectors. “Goldrush is structured and managed through its operating divisions that are based in turn on these various sectors,” notes Mergan Naidoo, Goldrush CEO.
“Our investment in Goldrush will significantly bolster the empowerment credentials of the business,” says Sefolo. “As the transaction is via our subsidiary Zico Capital, the target company may regard such investment as 100% black owned for the purposes of the BBBEE scorecard, with significant women ownership.
The deal will be effected through the buy-out of existing BEE and non- BEE shareholders in the current structure. According to Londeka Shezi; a Director at Agile Capital, the transaction was a significant milestone as it afforded some of the minority shareholders to realise their investment in the business.
The balance of equity in the company is to be retained by existing shareholders, which crucially includes the current management – ensuring incentive through direct interest.