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Austrian Companies Eye South African Casino Companies

15 May 2002

SOUTH AFRICA – As reported by the (South Africa) Business Day: "Two unrelated Austrian gambling companies, Casinos Austria and Austrian Gaming Industries, are taking steps to acquire stakes in local casino companies.

"…Yesterday, Admiral Leisure World notified its shareholders that Austrian Gaming Industries had agreed to acquire 51,7% of Admiral's shares from the controlling shareholders, Rean International, at 32c a share and would be making a similar offer to minority shareholders.

"Austrian Gaming Industries is a subsidiary of private Austrian group Novomatic, which already holds 18% of Admiral.

"…Admiral's operations include two casinos in Botswana, a public lottery in Swaziland and limited payout machines in Namibia.

"…Austrian Gaming Industries is a manufacturer of gambling equipment, although not the only multinational supplying local casinos. Limited payout machines cannot be made in SA as the specifications are not final but sources in the industry say the machines represent a big opportunity as demand from local casinos is starting to taper off now that almost all major casino developments have been approved.

"…The second Austrian deal was the March announcement that Casinos Austria would buy 17% of Gold Reef Casino Resorts.

"…Gold Reef CE Steven Joffe said Casinos Austria was not linked to Austrian Gaming Industries."

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