Cape Town – And the casino industry’s biggest winner for the 2016/17 tax year is [insert drum roll here please…] the taxman! The 11th annual survey from the Casino Association of South Africa (CASA), which was released on Wednesday, found that the South African Receiver of Revenue scooped up 36 percent of gross gambling revenues during the period under review.
That amounted to a total jackpot of R5.9 billion, paid through various taxes and levies across local, provincial and national governments by the association’s 36 members.

CASA, which represents the interests of all but two of the 38 legal, land-based casinos in the country, noted that this, in turn, “leads to improved infrastructure, education and healthcare funding”. Releasing the survey, CASA’s CE, Advocate Themba Ngobese, said gross gambling revenues, which totalled R18.2 billion, were up 6.7 percent on the previous year. The association said, in a statement, that the survey showed that ,despite tough economic conditions, the licensed casino industry remained an important driver of the South African economy, making a significant contribution to employment, social responsibility and infrastructure development.

CASA said the 64 000 employees supported by CASA member casinos and their related activities, such as hotels, conference centres, restaurants and theatres, were a big beneficiary of the industry’s continued growth. It added casino employees received 20 percent of the value generated by CASA member casinos during the year, amounting to R3.4 billion.

The statement said: “Once again CASA members increased their corporate social investment spend, contributing more than R165 million (up by 9.4 percent from last year) to education, skills development, sports development, community upliftment and healthcare.” As home to many of the country’s high-rollers, it’s little surprise that Gauteng topped the tables in terms of revenue, accounting for 41 percent of the national total. KwaZulu-Natal’s came in next with 19 percent, with the Western Cape a little behind at 15 percent.

Sun City’s home province, the North West, with seven percent, and the Eastern Cape, also seven percent, completed the top five contributors.

Source: African News Agency – Business News – Siobhan Cassidy