Casino license award prompts ‘turf battle’
By Paul
The award of casino licenses often leads to bad blood between competing interests, and that’s exactly what has happened in South Africa, according to a report in Business Day. The “turf battle”, as it is described, is between West Rand community organizations with a stake in Rhino, a newly licensed casino operator and Tsogo Sun, an established casino operator in South Africa, with operations including the Montecasino complex in Johannesburg.

Tsogo Sun has applied to the Johannesburg High Court for a judicial review of a license awarded to Rhino Resorts and Casino. The response from some of Rhino’s shareholders was a month-long ‘mass action’ campaign at Tsogo’s operations.

Laurence Ntlokoa, coordinator for the Western Gauteng Economic Recovery Task Team, recently accused Tsogo Sun of obstructing the establishment of Rhino's casino at Muldersdrift on the West Rand and of frustrating the region's development.

According to Tsogo, the licenses awarded to Rhino is unfair, as, Tsogo claims, it would allow Rhino to concentrate its funding and revenue on its casino operations, while Tsogo’s license dictates that it use revenue from its casino operations to subsidise parts of the operation that are unprofitable.

Rhino has given a 21% shareholding in its operations to three West Rand communities free. Ntlokaoa says that these communities would suffer as a result of any negative outcome of the judicial review.

Rhino’s major shareholder is Casinos, a subsidiary of US-based Century Casinos.

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