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Africa’s Second Largest Gaming Market Attempts Bouncing Back From A Notorious Lockdown


July 27, 2020

When The Coin Was Flipped

While the historic climb of “mobile” in Africa has given birth to an increase in online gambling, it has provided a means by which players can continue playing. The coronavirus situation did more than threaten the casino and gambling vertical of the e-game sector, but there are signs from the South African side of the pedestal which suggests strong post-lockdown recovery.

At the moment, South Africa boasts as the second largest gaming market in the continent, coming only behind Egypt, a North African countries with 35 percent larger associated revenues than that of the continent’s most industrialized economy.

For the past decade, South Africa’s video games market has refused to experience a decline, climbing from year to year in terms of market value.

Fairly said, the global game industry is thriving in the face of widespread economic disruptions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing has reduced consumer and business activity to new levels, but gaming platforms offer an engaging distraction for stay-at-home people looking for social interaction and in-house worthwhile recreation.

Tsogo Sun Gaming, the gaming arm of a South African hotel, gaming and entertainment group, Tsogo Sun, lost an estimate of USD 116.05 Mn in revenue, thanks to the country’s three-month lockdown.

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The industry contributes about 1 percent to South Africa’s economy and is among the few of the country’s sectors to have been growing over 4 percent before the pandemic. In 2018, the sector generated more than ZAR 18 Bn (USD 1.09 Bn)

SA’s Casino Jackpot

South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown is a somewhat grim story many businesses in the country are probably become tired of narrating. The restrictions measures, agreeably, became the perfect example of how a pandemic-related regulation can upturn the playground for businesses and lead economies into an unfamiliar abyss. To curb the spread of the contagion, casinos were not spared from the nationwide shuttering.

Nevertheless, the country’s severe lockdown has eased into a curfew situation which allows a good number of businesses to operate from 9 in the morning to 20:30, just before dusk.

Sun International, a resort hotel chain and casino destination headquartered in South Africa, has reasons to believe that e-gaming and gambling are making a significant comeback from the Covid-19 smackdown.

In just 2 weeks since the business was allowed to carefully open, the Powerbet Gaming subsidiary has minted 2 fresh South African millionaires and paid out 142 jackpots worth more than ZAR 50 K (USD 3 K).

The sum of all these is a whopping ZAR 22.4 Mn (USD 1.3 Mn), which is a hefty one considering that the casino has been in hibernation since preventing Covid-19 spread became part of the game.

“We were quite surprised in the first two weeks when we opened in July, we were probably trading at about 50 to 60 percent of prior year levels,” said Graham Wood, Sun International’s group COO for Hospitality. 

“We are still generating some positive cash in the casinos. As long as that is still the case, we’ll remain open because it allows our employees to earn decent salaries and give our gamers entertainment,” he added.

Featured Image: Carl Raw Via Unsplash.

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