KZN gaming sector collects R724m for service delivery

The KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board has collected a revenue of more than R724 million for service delivery, with more than 11 600 jobs being created for the citizens in the province.

KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) MEC, Siboniso Duma, revealed this during the 15th Gambling Regulators African Forum (GRAF) Conference, currently underway at Sibaya Casino in Durban.

The annual conference, which is attended by over 500 international and national delegates, offers a unique opportunity for regulators to exchange knowledge, collaborate on regulatory challenges, and shape the future of the African gambling industry.

Hosted by the department’s entity, KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board, this year’s conference taking place from 2 – 5 April 2024, is held under the theme, “Fostering Unity Towards a Coordinated Gaming Regulatory Framework for Africa”.

In his opening address on Wednesday, Duma emphasised the importance of the gaming sector in the province’s economy, noting that the industry invests more than R2 billion in the province.

Duma said the money has been allocated for various service delivery programmes, including roads construction; houses; and ensuring the provision of quality education, health, welfare services, water, and electricity.

“Companies that are involved in the gaming and betting sector have invested more than R2 billion towards the development of their facilities here in KZN. This has helped create jobs and stimulate other sectors of the economy such as tourism and construction.”

“Importantly, through our entity, we regulate horseracing events such as the Durban July which is now called Hollywood Bet [which] has always been the country’s biggest race for years with more than R4.5 million in prize money and turnover of R140 million,” – Duma said.

He added that various sectors of the economy have been benefiting for years with thousands of temporal and permanent jobs created.

Duma noted that due to COVID-19, jockeys have lost approximately R6.5 million monthly, including riding fees and winning stakes. The trainers have also lost approximately R3 million a month with their business reduced by 20%.

The MEC commended the stakeholders for working together to ensure the turnaround of the situation.

“The horse racing industry in general contributes around R3 billion to the country’s GDP and about R800 million in taxes every year. The contribution of the industry to the local economy is R905 million [and] we want this contribution to increase year-on-year.”

“We are also moving with speed to unleash talent in deep rural areas through traditional racing events, such as Dundee July and Umtelebhelo. These have become major events in the annual calendar which have attracted more than 70 000 tourists,” – Duma said.

Duma said government is also working jointly with licenses to transform the horse racing industry.

“Hollywood Sportsbook Group and Gold Circle have collaborated with government in supporting grooms within the horseracing industry. We want to see young people becoming horse owners, horse trainers, horse breeders, jockeys, veterinarians and grooms.”

“We wish to acknowledge this contribution not only here in KZN but in other provinces and neighbouring countries. It is my view that this investment is an indication that gaming and betting Industry was a mature and well-established industry before COVID-19,” – Duma said.


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