South African Casino
Emerald to Challenge
Gold Reef Resorts
Emerald Casino in the Vaal
triangle is set to battle against Gold Reef Resorts’
intention to build a casino in the same area. Emerald CEO
Martin Rice says that they have been aware of the group’s
plans to get an additional license for several years and
“would aggressively oppose any application for a license
or an attempt to build another casino”.
National gambling revenue
has peaked at R15, 6 billion over the last five years and
there are now 36 casinos in operation across South Africa.
Companies such as Gold Reef and Sun International have used
this situation to expand. Steven Joffe, CEO of Gold Reef,
has said that Golf Reef Resorts “has very advanced
plans to build a casino on the Vaal River”, with construction
due to begin within this year.
Negotiations between Gold
Reef and Emerald were abandoned. Las Vegas based group Harrah’s
own 70% of Emerald, as well as Caesars Palace and the Flamingo
in America’s gambling capital.
Gold Reef has made known
its intentions to expand into the African continent, combining
resorts and casinos. The company reported last week that
there nett income had increased from R146 million in 2007
to R358 million in 2008. The group’s casinos include
Silverstar and Gold Reef City in Gauteng, as well as Mykonos
Casino in the Western Cape.
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