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MGM Grand, Inc. Opens Casino in Johannesburg, South Africa2 October 1998
LAS VEGAS -- MGM Grand, Inc. (NYSE: MGG) opened the doors on October 1 to its temporary Johannesburg casino in the Gauteng Province of the Republic of South Africa.
The site is located at Northgate, an upscale Johannesburg suburb. The Gauteng Province, with nearly seven million people, is the most populous and economically developed province in South Africa.
The temporary casino, located within the Sundome in Johannesburg, includes 1,700 slots and 50 table games. Planning for the permanent casino in Johannesburg is underway with an anticipated 30-month construction period. The permanent resort facility will be designed with an Italian/Mediterranean theme incorporating a casino with approximately 2,000 slot machines and 75 table games. The permanent complex is planned to include extensive non-gaming amenities including a hotel, restaurants, a variety of entertainment facilities, retail and adjacent residential and business components.
"The Johannesburg casino represents a strong additional source of earnings for MGM Grand as the company continues to diversify its operations," said J. Terrence Lanni, chairman and CEO of MGM Grand, Inc.
President and COO Alex Yemenidjian said, "Such management and development contracts provide high margin revenues at no financial risk to the company, and we are exploring other such management opportunities around the world."
The temporary casino in Johannesburg represents the third gaming facility in South Africa to be managed by the company, on behalf of the company's partner in South Africa, Tsogo Sun Gaming & Entertainment. The Nelspruit temporary casino, which opened October 1997, has 275 slots and 10 table games. The Witbank temporary casino, which opened March 1998, has 375 slots and 13 table games. Bids for additional licenses have been submitted in Pietersburg, Capetown and Durban. It is anticipated that further bids will be submitted by the company and its partners for casino licenses throughout the remaining provinces of the Republic of South Africa. Tsogo Sun will provide all project costs, and MGM Grand, Inc. will earn fees for the development and management of the casino.