THE merger between casino rivals Gold Reef Resorts and Tsogo Sun has taken a small step towards approval after the group announced yesterday that the deal was given an unconditional green light from the KwaZulu-Natal Gambling Board, while the Gauteng Gambling Board approved the merger pending the approval of competition authorities.
While yesterday’s announcement is a welcome step, competition approval may be more difficult to secure, with the Tsogo Sun fighting a Competition Commission recommendation that the merger be approved on condition that the merged entity sells the money-spinning Silverstar Casino, at present located in the Gold Reef stable.

Marcel von Aulock, chief financial officer at Tsogo Sun. said last month the group would vigorously oppose the recommendation.

“We do not believe the condition is warranted and will present our ease at the (Competition) Tribunal with a view to getting unconditional approval.” “You will appreciate that in Gauteng, where the casinos are closer together, the tendency to attract customers from rival casinos is far greater.” he said.

The groups are also awaiting the approval from other provincial authorities.

Source: Business Day – Julius Baumamm