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South African Casino News

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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