Somerset West might witness the construction of a new integrated resort in the foreseeable future, but this news did not receive a warm welcome by the residents of the community, as it is considered a potential threat for the financial well-being of people living in the region. Tsogo Sun is the South African casino developer and operator who would oversee the management of the resort if the project manages to receive a green light and progress.
Problem gambling and the spin-off issues coming with it is a concerning topic of wide discussion across the globe, as more and more regions witness the potential harm of gaming in an irresponsible manner. The local community of Somerset West has recently made it clear that a new casino venue is not welcome in the area, voicing their financial state concerns. Expert Pieter Human made a statement in relation to the issue, stating that a proposed casino venue is eventually going to attract predominantly people from the area and not really attract funds of other regions nearby.
This could ultimately mean that locals would experience higher rates of gambling addiction, instead of boosting the economy through foreign capital generated. According to Mr. Human’s position on the subject, casinos operating in Western Cape have a significantly negative impact on the local economy which is already witnessing the operation of the National Lottery. There have been estimations projected regarding the future operation of the proposed casino venue which could prove to have a harmful impact on Helderberg in the long run.
What should be taken into consideration is the financial state of the nearby communities as well, which could also suffer the negative impact of an easily accessible casino venue. Hundreds of millions could be involved in the operation of the new gaming venue which could consequently introduce a shift in the way the community manages its finances. As a result, this could bring a jump in the unemployment rates, as more people are interested in the gaming offerings.
Future Casino Operation Raises Concerns amid Locals
Even though this paints a grim picture of the future gaming field in the region, the community prefers to remain realistic about its prospective. In addition to that, there have been claims that not many details have been revealed regarding the casino project, which further complicates the situation. As it was stated by Stephen Leppan, Helderberg Residents Association Chairperson, local authorities have not made an effort to provide the community with a transparent process.
He stated that the general public had not had the chance to give its opinion. In response to that the Mayoral Committee stated that all comments are currently being accepted up until 6th August when the deadline if set. Ever since November last year it has been known that the casino operator is eyeing the possibilities available in the region of Cape Town which are vast. Back then it was publicly announced that Tsogo Sun is striving to relocate some of its operation to the second-most populous area in the region.
Such rezoning was supposed to happen only under the condition that it proves beneficial for the future operation. With the help of its division Southern Sun Hotels, Tsogo was set to reach a rezoning permission. Following an amendment of the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Act the relocation was greenlighted. Tsogo Sun owns a controlling stake of the Mykonos, Caledon, and Garden Route casino facilities.
The operator also manages a substantial amount of minority stakes in the GrandWest, as well as the Worcester Casino, both operated by Sun International. This change in the location is expected to bring a breath of fresh air to the metropolis, since Sun International has been dominating the regional field with its GrandWest casino operation.
Anthony Leeming, CEO at Sun International Group stated that such move could result in a denser gaming environment which is not a desired outcome in this case. Similar concerns have been expressed ever since by the community as well, provoking thoughts regarding the level of precaution when it comes to gambling addiction and how the community could protect itself against the introduction of new casino venues.
In the meantime, Tsogo Sun acquired a slot of the Somerset West Golf Course which is supposed to host the new casino resort managed by the casino developer. The upcoming weeks are set to see more development on the case as the deadline approaches.