How can casinos help Africa?
Even though the global economy’s future is unclear, one industry seems to be on an upward track. The gaming industry has grown at a steady pace of roughly 4% during the previous several years.
Its revenue was almost $450 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $559 billion by 2022. Casinos, especially in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore, produce a lot of this cash.
For example, Las Vegas generated about $6.6 billion in revenue in 2019 and drew over 42 million tourists eager to gamble in one of the world’s most attractive locations.
African tourism boom
So, as Africa becomes more reliant on tourism, and the industry grows exponentially, many wonder how casinos might assist.
Of fact, Africa has 54 nations, not all of which allow gaming. But they are also the most tourist-friendly.
South Africa is undeniably the most popular destination for tourists.
South Africa attracts approximately 16 million people every year due to its big cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, stunning beauty, and significant European influences.
Kenya is another popular destination for visitors, lured by the promise of gorgeous beaches and safaris in the country’s numerous wildlife reserves. Both cities have casinos, mostly in major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa, but also in purpose-built resorts like Sun City in South Africa.
Mauritius, Nigeria, and Ghana are among African nations with significant tourist numbers and regulated casinos. Morocco and Egypt are two shocks. Both nations have opulent casinos intended to tourists, frequently housed in five-star hotels.
Somalia and Sudan are two nations where all types of gambling are prohibited. Casinos will not be introduced as tourist attractions in these nations due to their strong religious leadership, although Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda have shown promise for building them.
Online casinos are one aspect that may prevent certain nations from fully using the potential of casinos to attract tourists. Online casinos generated £3.2 billion in revenue between October 2018 and September 2019 in the UK, compared to £1.1 billion for land-based casinos. Online casinos have grown in popularity because to its ease and accessibility, allowing players to enjoy their favorite games without having to go to a physical casino. Online casinos currently offer more games than conventional casinos, including the classics like slots, poker, blackjack, and roulette.
Because many African nations have yet to pass specific laws controlling internet casinos, this is a problem that may need to be addressed more completely in the future. But, providing this problem is resolved, expanding the use of land-based casinos might offer numerous benefits.
The SA example
South Africa, whose casinos accounted for 66 percent of total gaming income in 2016, may be a model for other nations. Despite this, the statistic was down 4% from the previous year, perhaps owing to the rise of internet gambling.
Despite this, it managed to provide approximately 17 million rand to the economy, most of which went to taxes and other government expenses. During a time when the country’s economy has been weak, this may have been priceless.
In addition to attracting visitors, South African casinos also create jobs in the hotel industry. While the South African government’s study of the casino business concluded that roughly 50,000 people are directly employed, another component must be considered. For every job, 4.6 more positions are generated directly or indirectly. Using the 5.6 job multiplier, the sector employs 262,000 individuals, a high fraction of the working-age population.
Because South Africa’s casino sector is mature, it may be more appropriate to look at other nations on the continent like Nigeria, where the casino business is still in its infancy. The government wants to encourage tourism, and it believes “integrated resort casinos” will help raise the $60 million income recorded in 2018.
These are being designed to appeal to millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) who seek for all-encompassing vacation experiences. To attract longer visits, resorts including theme parks, shopping, luxury hotels, and casinos should be built. Because many of this target demographic already like online slots and other games, it should be easy to convince them to incorporate casino vacations in their travel plans.
If more nations follow followed, this might represent the start of a new era of African tourism, one that could eventually rival Las Vegas and Macau. This will be a task, but with the potential to grow economies and create more jobs, it will be well worth taking on. For certain nations, it may be vital to their continuing success.