This report on the South African Gambling Industry includes comprehensive information on the sector and its subsectors including the lottery, casinos, limited payout machines, bingo and betting including betting on horse racing. There are profiles of 21 companies and national and provincial gambling boards in the sector. Profiled companies include major players such as Tsogo Sun, which completed the unbundling of its hotel division and Sun International, which announced plans to increase its holding in hotel and casino resort Sibaya and is in negotiations to make an acquisition in Chile. Others include Ithuba, which manages the lottery and Phumelela Gaming and Leisure, a major player in horse racing.
The South African Gambling Industry
South Africa’s gambling industry reported mixed results last year. While the casino segment continued to generate the lion’s share of total gross gambling revenue, its market share declined markedly as bingo, betting and limited payout machines became popular. Online gambling had been increasingly taking share from on-the-ground casinos and other betting outlets. Although casinos generated higher revenues than other forms of gambling, the National Lottery attracted the highest number of players.
Horse racing and sports events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely since the coronavirus outbreak, and totalisators, casinos, bingo halls and other gambling establishments have been closed until further notice. While the traditional gambling industry is facing unparalleled losses, online gambling sites have reported a surge in activity since the national lockdown came into effect on 27 March 2020. While online casinos worldwide have reported a sharp increase in gambling, as lockdown periods are extended and financial stresses intensify, analysts say that people may become increasingly hesitant to spend money on non-essential pastimes, such as gambling. There are also concerns about the slow resumption of business at casinos once the lockdown ends.