South Africa- Premier S'bu Ndebele tossed the first
dice on the main floor of the spectacular Sibaya
Casino and Entertainment Kingdom last night, officially
opening the R727 million luxury north coast venue.
with a host of dignitaries who included MEC for Arts,
Culture and Tourism Narend Singh, congratulated Afrisun
on a seven-year gamble that has paid off handsomely.
company, which comprises majority shareholder Sun International,
Moreland, Dolcoast and a number of black empowerment partners,
was granted the last of the province's casino licences
in August 2000.
palatial Afro-fantasy venue just north of Umhlanga that
resulted is not only expected to inject billions into
the local economy, but has already produced jobs. According
to Tristan Kaatze, Sun International's divisional director,
has already created 1 300 permanent jobs as well as some
5 000 temporary and 10 000 indirect jobs during construction.
development, Afrisun built an interchange off the N2 freeway
to ensure safe, efficient access to its facility, which
provides parking for 2 200 vehicles. This offramp is also
expected to impact on the future development of the entire
Northern Corridor that is beginning to become known as
the Sibaya node.
interchange symbolically unlocks the area for development.
It emphasises the reality of the construction of the King
Shaka International Airport at La Mercy and suggests further
growth in the area," Kaatze explained.
of the minority shareholders, Moreland, is already planning
a new development on either side of the N2 near Sibaya.
terms of its original casino bid, a temporary casino was
created at Mount Edgecombe. The highly successful Sugar
Mill casino, which opened in February 2001, has moved
lock, stock and barrel to Sibaya along with its 650-strong
staff, allowing for the smooth transition to what has
been touted as one of the country's most technologically
advanced gaming operations.
night's preview of the gaming facilities showed the innovative
use of sophisticated smart card technology when it comes
900 slots and 37 gaming tables, which include roulette,
blackjack and poker and are spread over three areas: the
main floor, a dedicated smoking floor and the elegant
and upmarket Royal Court.
International dominates local gambling with a 42% local
market share thanks to extensive industry research and
development, which results in the constant development
of new and innovative gambling products, said Kaatze.
in its highly successful local products are Sun International's
Mystery Jackpots, which see slot machines randomly trigger
prizes that range from instant cash to holidays to motor
vehicles and other prizes.
there's also the specially-designed Sharks slots game,
Wide Area Progressive Jackpots, which are only available
at Sun International casinos, and Dem Bones, another proprietary
Sun International gaming product.
its traditional and contemporary Zulu designs and themes,
Casino and Entertainment Kingdom is a must-see even