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South African Province to Call for Casino Proposals

4 October 2005

SOUTH AFRICA – As reported by the South Africa Dispatch: "The Eastern Cape is expected to call for proposals for the province's remaining two casino licences, Economic Affairs MEC Andre de Wet said yesterday.

"Interest had been shown in the two areas where licences were still available and the time was ripe to give them an economic boost, De Wet added.

"The interest in gaming by South Africa's conglomerates was shown in East London last week when giants Hosken Consolidated Investments and Johnnic brought their war for control of Tsogo Investment Holdings to the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board over an increased shareholding in casino minnow Tsogo Sun Emonti, which runs Hemingways.

"The big companies are fighting it out for a bigger share of South Africa's R10,7 billion-a-year casino business.

"Licences were granted for only three of the province's five allocated licences in 1998. They went to the apartheid-era Wild Coast Sun on the KwaZulu-Natal border, the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth and Hemingways.

"…De Wet said there was a lot of interest in developing tourism in both the Queenstown and Aliwal North area and investors 'could be encouraged to increase their investment if they are prepared to make an application for a licence'…"

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