Gambling tourism is a growing niche market with worldwide revenue streams forecast to rise to 495 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. Globally, it is estimated that approximately 1.6 billion people gamble during any given year with over 4.2 billion having gambled at one time or another.
According to the Casino Association of South Africa (CASA), which currently represents the interests of 35 of the 39 operational casinos in the country, its members generated R16,4 billion (approx 1,14 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018.
CASA’s ‘2018 Survey of Casino Entertainment in South Africa’ report shows a 5.6% increase in Gross Gambling Revenue (GGR) for 2018 against the previous year. Within South Africas’ nine provinces, Gauteng has 7 casinos, which collectively contributed 43% of GGR, followed by KwaZulu-Natal’s 5 casinos at 19%, and the Western Cape’s 5 casinos at 16%. The balance of South Africa’s 39 casinos contributed 22% of GGR from 22 casinos.
While CASA’s survey report goes into some depth on its members’ collective performance, it does not provide a break-down on performance by specific casinos. It’s apparent from the survey report, though, that casinos in Gauteng have the highest winning payouts for tables and slot machines.
So, seeing as that’s where the money goes, here’s our pick of the top 3 casinos you will find in South Africas’ best performing Gauteng province.
Amazing Scenery & Jaw-dropping Jackpots
Whilst many players nowadays access South African casinos through online sources where they play slot machines and live table games, the experience is enhanced by playing these incredible games inside the most stunning buildings scattered across Johannesburg and Pretoria.
1. Montecasino: Rated 4.5/5
This award-winning casino is located in Sandton, north of Johannesburg. Billed as the #1 entertainment destination, Montecasino is a spectacular development that replicates a Tuscan village. The outlandish design is a visual pleasure and boasts the casino, retail and restaurants. The site boasts three hotels where you can take advantage of a complete package that will fill every second of a fun-filled stay. The casino attracts more than 9.3 million visitors each year, all of whom are captivated by the beauty of the Italian inspired surroundings.
The Casino itself holds a wide variety of games, with state-of-the-art slot machines which contain progressive jackpots. There are also roulette and blackjack tables and if you fancy some fun on the high-stakes tables, there are VIP rooms for privacy. The site caters for both smoking and non-smoking players.
2. Emperors Palace: Rated 4/5
Truly fit for an Emperor, this casino hotel boasts many entertainment features. It’s an ultimate luxury hot spot that also offers health spas and fine dining. Located in Kempton Park, northeast of Johannesburg, Emperors Palace certainly comes with a huge ‘wow’ factor. The visual appeal creates a sense of wonderment as you enter column rich halls framing stunning sculptures and a Garden of Lights to explore outside.
Within the casino, you can enjoy cashless gaming to avoid the queues inside and the fuss. There are tables that will teach new players the rules and strategies of games. There are blackjack, baccarat, roulette and slot options for the regular players and you can bet from as little as 1c up to R500. The venue also caters for both non-smokers and smokers.
3. Gold Reef City: Rated 4/5
Located south of Johannesburg, you will find this stunning entertainment destination which is designed on a mining town theme at the turn-of-the-century. It may sound like an odd premise at first, but when you realise that there are rollercoasters and a full-blown theme park on the site, it all merges together perfectly. Fun for the whole family and supported by two 4-star hotels should you want to make a night of it.
The casino is part of the Tsogo Sun Gaming company which also provides the same quality of games for the Montecasino in the number one spot. So, you have the same level of slot games to play and blackjack and roulette tables to enjoy.
Whether you’re travelling with your family or with friends, we’re sure you’ll enjoy each of these Gauteng casinos.