Casinos contribute R5.7bn in tax and levies to state

SOUTH Africa’s casino operators were responsible for more than 70% of the entire gambling industry’s R24-billion contribution to the gross domestic product.

That’s according to figures for 2014-15 released yesterday in the Casino Association of SA’s (Casa) Survey of Casino Entertainment in South Africa 2015.

The casino income total of R17.2-billion was a 4.5% increase from the previous financial year.

Casa hoped the results would encourage authorities to help create a flexible operating environment.

The survey revealed that Casa members “contributed R5.7-billion towards government tax revenue in the form of taxes and levies‚ which represents 37% of the value generated by them this year”.

“Despite the economic downturn‚ the study reveals a slight growth in the casino industry and again highlights the important contribution casinos make towards the South African economy‚” Casa chief executive Themba Ngobese said.

“This is an exciting and fastpaced industry that is surviving despite the depressed economy and resultant decrease in consucorporate mer spending.” The association’s members invested an amount equalling 13.4% (R2.3-billion) of their revenue in capital expenditure at their properties‚ and, it said, support about 64 000 direct jobs.

Other boast-worthy findings in the survey included that direct social investment totalled R134-million – an increase of R26-million from the previous year – R56-million was channelled into the education sector‚ and R32-million went towards local communities within which Casa member casinos operate.

“Our findings show the positive impact casinos have on South Africa’s economy‚” Ngobese said.

“In the light of this‚ we are calling on policymakers to focus on providing a more flexible operating environment and eliminating policies which inhibit investment‚ to reconsider some of the proposals outlined in the draft National Liquor Policy and to stamp out illegal online gambling.”

“In order for the gambling industry to continue serving the economy‚ we need policies introduced that allow the industry to innovate‚ reinvest and contribute towards local communities.”

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