Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Casino industry rakes in millions defying recession

Despite the global recession, the casino industry and the government continue to make a killing from gamblers. On the whole, December appears to be the most profitable month.

In the 2010/11 gambling year, the industry made a total of P222.3 million in round figures, that figure representing a 15 percent increase over the 2009/10 results. From that money, the Casino Control Board (CCB) in the Ministry of Trade and Industry got P21 million, the sum being P3 million more than it did in the preceding year.

This irony is so potent that even Thabiso Tafila, the new chairperson of the CCB, just had to point it out in his foreword of the 2010/11 annual report which was presented to parliament last Thursday.
“These results are very impressive because there has been an increase in government earnings from the casino industry despite the fact that our economy has not fully recovered from the recent worldwide economic meltdown,” he writes.

That notwithstanding, casinos that operate in mining towns took a hit or in the language of the report, made ‘marginal losses.’ Faring the worst in that regard is Marang Casino in Francistown which generated 20 percent less than it did in 2009/10.

While the casino, which is ranked third in terms of revenue generated and levy collected, made P11.5 million in 2009/10, it managed only P9.5 million in the reporting period. The report says that ‘the results were influenced by sluggish global economic activity that has affected mining areas most.’

Three mining companies in Mupani Gold Mine, Tati Nickel and African Copper operate in the Francistown area. Another mining town casino that did not do well is Syringa Casino in Selebi Phikwe which generated 5 percent less than it did in the 2009/10 financial year.

Curiously though, while one casino this side of a mining town did not do well, another on the other side of the same town did well. Sedibeng Casino in Francistown recorded an increase of 11.5 percent in earnings and in Selebi Phikwe, Menateng Casino saw its revenue increase by 15 percent. In Jwaneng, the revenue generated by Teemane Casino (the only such operation in the township) increased 19 percent from P1.8 million in 2009/10 to P2.1 million in the reporting period.

Naturally, the best performing casino – Grand Palm Casino – is in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital of capital. In the reporting period, the casino made P18.5 million more than it did in the preceding financial year, that figure representing a 24 percent growth in revenue generated.

“Equally the increase recorded over the reporting period had an impact on government levy which increased significantly by 27 percent to P9 160 348 compared to P7 218 364 over 2009/10. The operator is ranked first in both categories of revenue sources,” the report says.

Hot on Grand Palm’s heels is Gaborone Sun Casino whose revenue rose from P74.4 million to P78.8 million.

For the reporting period, P2.8 million was collected from entrance fees, the figure representing a 7 percent increase from money that was collected in 2009/10. The report says that the entrance fee is part of effort to curb loitering in casinos.

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