Phumelela Warns Gauteng Tax Could Collapse Horse-Racing Industry Countrywide Sun International Achieves Growth Despite Weak Economy Tsogo Sun Announces Group and Management Restructure Fifth Casino Licence for North West to Go Ahead After Failed CASA Appeal Loot Box Systems Is it Gambling?
Tanzanian Gaming Industry Revenue Climbs Namibia Unveils Draft Gambling Laws to Attract Foreign Investment Investing in Tech will Ensure Industry Survival says Tourvest CEO
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From the Editor: IT SEEMS that 2019 is a year for change, renewal, taking stock and re-jigging of operations in an ever-changing business environment. A number of significant changes are underway at Tsogo Sun, Africa’s largest gaming and hotel operator and we see an increased realisation across the industry that a more-efficient and technology-driven business approach is needed. The Increasingly important role technology will play in gaming, Integrated Resorts, hospitality and allied industries is one we all need to heed. The article in this issue by Tourvest CEO around the need to invest in technology for industry survival is an excellent study in the new way we need to look at things and innovate. As technology evolves at an ever-increasing rate, so too do the challenges for regulators to stay abreast of developments in order to effectively regulate gaming challenges. The excellent article in this issue on Lootboxes is a must-read for any regulator to grasp the challenges that lie ahead in regulating gaming from unseen quarters. Many of these issues will be addressed at the upcoming ICE Africa 2019 - so, make sure you register and get to Africa’s most important gaming industry event - www.iceafrica.za.com
PRINTED BY Headstart Productions GAMING FOR AFRICA is a bi-monthly magazine focused on casino operators and the manufacturing sector of the African gaming industry. We publish informed comment, and cover developments in legislation, new products, marketing and sales, promotions and general casino resort tourism trends in Africa Information published in GAMING FOR AFRICA or views or opinions expressed by writers are their own and not necessarily endorsed by the owner, publisher or editor of GAMING FOR AFRICA. While reasonable care is taken to report on events and occurrences in an accurate manner, we cannot accept any responsibility for inconveniences arising from misinformation. We welcome unsolicited articles and photographs but cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Press releases are published in good faith and the publishers assume that information provided is correct. Gaming for Africa is a trade publication aimed at the b2b casino and gaming industry in South Africa and across the African continent where legalized gambling is permitted. As such all advertising and editorial in this publication is aimed at professionals within the gambling industry, and not the general gambling public. Gaming for Africa endorses and promotes responsible gambling and proudly subscribes to the aims and initiatives of the legalized gambling industry thorugh the National Responsible Gambling Programme. National Responsible Gambling Counselling Line – 0800 006 008
Tsogo Sun Announces Group and Management Restructure
Fifth Casino Licence for North West to Go Ahead After Failed CASA Appeal
Gaming for Africa Mag Launches New Website
Phumelela Warns in Court Papers that Gauteng Tax Could Collapse Horse-Racing Industry Country-wide
Panthera from Novomatic Pounces at Montecasino
Lottoland Granted Two Licences in South Africa
Sun International Achieves Growth Despite Weak Economy
Tanzanian Gaming Industry Revenue Climbs
Mykonos Treats Suppliers and VIPs to April Fool’s Golf Day
Khoroni Casino Crowned at Peermont Awards
Speed King Shoots the Lights Out at Spin Rider Casino
Children Benefit from Phumelela Gaming Royal Race Day
Emperors Palace Hosts Princess Charlene of Monaco
Light Up Your Gaming Floor with TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s Blaze
Namibia Unveils Draft Gambling Laws to Attract Foreign Investment
Konami and GamingAnalytics.AI Partner to Provide Intuitive & Insight-driven Data Analytics
Investing in Tech will Ensure Industry Survival says Tourvest CEO
Enhance your Integrated Resort, Gaming and Hospitality offering - Visit AI Expo Africa 2019
Gambian Officials Undergo AML Training for Casinos and Non-Financial Institutions
Loot Box Systems - Is it Gambling?
BTOBET Strikes Deals with Operators in Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Uganda
Kiron Interactive Wins Award for Stand Design at ICE Africa
Suncoast Casino Dazzles Players with Interblock’s Auto Roulette
BESTBET360 Launches in Nigeria
New Slot Machine to Benefit ‘Save the Rhino’ Campaign
Irvin Nkosi Appointed as Peermont Promotions Manager
Nigeria to Automate VAT on Lottery and Betting
Licensed Gaming Manufacturers & Suppliers
Who’s Who in the African Gaming Industry April / May 2019 I Gaming For Africa I 01
Tsogo Sun Announces Group and Management Restructure Jacques Booysen to Retire, Chris du Toit Appointed CEO-Designate TSOGO SUN has announced that it will restructure Tsogo Sun Group’s hotel interests under one holding company - namely THL (Tsogo Sun Hotels Limited) - to allow shareholders to participate directly in the hotel and gaming divisions of Tsogo Sun. This will entail the the separation of Tsogo Sun and THL, culminating in the listing and unbundling of THL. Subsequent to the successful implementation of the Proposed Transaction, Tsogo Sun will comprise only of the gaming division, being casino and alternative gaming operations. The intention is to change the name of Tsogo Sun from “Tsogo Sun Holdings Limited” to “Tsogo Sun Gaming Limited” in due course. THL owns, leases and manages hotels in South Africa as well as several subSaharan countries, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi. THL will also hold the Group’s minority investment in RBH Hospitality Management and International Hotel Properties, based in the United Kingdom. The hotels that have been developed as part of the various casino complexes owned by the Group will remain with Tsogo Sun and be operated under a management agreement by THL. The Group’s 59.2% interest in Hospitality Property Fund Ltd (“HPF”) will remain owned and consolidated by THL. The successful completion of the Proposed Transaction will be subject to, inter alia, the fulfilment of suspensive conditions including, inter alia, approval by the relevant regulatory authorities. The restructuring will bring about various directorship and management changes: The composition of the board of directors of THL will be set out in the THL pre-listing statement and will include Mr Marcel von Aulock as Chief Executive
Officer and Mrs Laurelle McDonald as Chief Financial Officer. Mrs McDonald is currently the Group Corporate Finance Manager of Tsogo Sun and has been with Tsogo Sun for twelve years. Mr John Copelyn will chair the THL Board and Mr Mohammed Ahmed is expected to be appointed as lead independent director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of THL, with the balance of the THL Board being comprised of a suitable combination of non-executive and Independent non-executive directors. As a consequence of HPF remaining a subsidiary of THL and concentrating primarily on hotel investments, Mr Rob Nicolella will be stepping down as CEO of HPF reassuming his previous position at Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited. Mrs Mara De Lima, who has been the CFO of HPF for the past two years will be appointed as CEO at that point. Mr Riaan Erasmus will be appointed to the board of HPF as CFO to replace Mrs de Lima. Mr Erasmus has previously held the position of Group Financial Manager at HPF and acting CFO prior to the takeover of HPF by Tsogo Sun. Mr Jacques Booysen will retire as CEO and as a member of the boards of directors of the Group companies, with effect from 30 June 2019. Mr Booysen has served in various capacities within the management of Tsogo Sun for some 12 years and has led the Group as CEO for the past two years. Mr Chris du Toit has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer – Designate, effective 01 July 2019. Mr du Toit is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and is presently the Chief Operations Officer – Alternative Gaming and Chief Executive Officer - Galaxy Bingo (which latter position he has held for the past 10 years).
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Fifth Casino Licence for North West to Go Ahead After Failed CASA Appeal The process for a fifth casino licence for the NorthWest Province wil go ahead, following the removal of a final legal obstacle to the plans.
“THE ALLOCATION of the fifth casino license has been the subject of a tedious legal battle between the Casino Association of South Africa, the Department of Trade and Industry and the North West Gambling Board. The matter has now been resolved after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the Department and Board to continue with the roll-out of the license,” said the NWGB in a statement. The Minister for the Department of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies awarded the fifth casino license to the North West Province in June 2016. This emanating from the cross-boundary transfer of Morula Sun Casino from the North West Province to the Gauteng Province. The Casino Association of South Africa argued in court papers that the roll-out of the Fifth Casino License will result in the proliferation of the casino industry. This according to CASA will
have a huge negative impact on the industry’s economic prospects. Acting Chief Executive Officer of the NorthWest Gambling Board, Mr. Jacob Montshioa believes that the ruling in the allocation of the fifth casino license gives the North West an opportunity to grow the provincial economy. He maintains that this will stimulate economic growth in the province. And marginalized and downtrodden citizens of the province will benefit through the creation of job and business opportunities in the gambling and tourism sector. “Our mandate transcends the regulatory mandate, we are duty bound as the Board to create space and opportunities for new entrants particularly the previously disadvantaged individuals to participate actively in the socio-economic trajectory
of the country and the province,” Mr. Montshioa said. Mr. Montshioa further insists that the roll-out will benefit small and medium enterprises thus contributing to the growth of the Local Economy. “It is our considered view as the Board that the allocation of the Fifth Casino License will have spill-over will bring along with it, various economic opportunities for the people of North West. We want the primary beneficiaries to be women and youth enterprises. Women and young people continue to be relegated into the peripheral stratum of our economy. We need to change this narrative.” “In addition to this, the allocation will also create necessary traffic and influx in the area and that will also encourage growth in the retail industry. And this will help in the fight against the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and income inequality,” he said.
Gaming for Africa Mag Launches New Website Africa’s leading Gaming Industry publication, Gaming for Africa, has gone live with its new website at www.gfamagazine.com PUBLISHER AND CEO, Roy Bannister announced the new website launch, saying the new online presence would serve as a future portal for planned additions to the company’s offerings, including training and webinars. “Traditional publishing has been experiencing a number of radical changes over the past few
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years, with digital and online offerings serving a vital part of any publishing offering, and hard copy printing falling by the wayside. As publishers evolve with the digital times, so do their offerings, and we foresee our new website presence as a portal for richer digital content offerings to come in the form of added vacancy offerings,
training, greater b2b interaction, webinars, resource and information and analysis, as well as enhanced online presence for our advertisers and supporters. The new website is a first step in this ongoing evolution, as we seek to serve the African Gambling Industry across all sectors,” said Bannister.
Phumelela Warns in Court Papers that Gauteng Tax Could Collapse Horse-Racing Industry Country-wide Phumelela Gaming & Leisure Group is undertaking further measures to right size the struggling group as it heads into a legal battle to stave off changes to the Gauteng gambling regulations, which could deprive it of R75 million in income a year. THE GROUP, which reported its results recently for the six months ended January 31, recorded mixed results, with a strong international performance, off-set by a disappointing local result. The group’s equity accounted profits increased by 8% to R88.6m, headline earnings were down 18percent to R68m, headline earnings a share down 17% to 68.02cents, attributable profit to ordinary equity holders was down 17% to R70m, and attributable earnings a share to ordinary equity holders were down 16% to 70.05c, while net asset value a share was 990.58c and the net debt-to-equity ratio increased to 32%. John Stuart, the chief executive of Phumelela, said the group as a consumer-facing business with a large retail footprint was affected locally by negative macro factors. “As a result of a stagnant economy, trading conditions deteriorated considerably for our local operations,” said Stuart. Phumelela, in the likely absence of a meaningful improvement in the domestic economy, has decided to right-size the group and, further to the voluntary severance programme in the previous year, had identified additional areas in which to adjust, and detailed action plans modelled for beneficial financial impact were being implemented. “This has been a challenging six months and all the executives have been tasked with cost reduction targets. This will specifically aid in counteracting our 06 I Gaming For Africa I
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current reduced level of profitability and limited balance sheet flexibility,” said Stuart. However, horse racing continued to face unpredictability in the regulatory and licensing space, causing unnecessary financial consequences and inhibiting forward planning. Phumelela warned on Friday that amendments to the Gauteng gambling regulations would hit the group. “The payment of this tax to Phumelela was agreed to between the Gauteng government and the racing industry when the industry was corporatised in the 1990s and it was intended to ensure the sustainability of the industry. The betting tax received by Phumelela in Gauteng constitutes 90% of the betting tax received by it in South Africa and amounts to approximately R75m per year. “The MEC has elected to amend Regulation 276, which will have the effect of depriving Phumelela of its portion of the betting tax and directing it towards the board. This amendment will have a material adverse effect on Phumelela and on racing in general,” it said. Phumelela said it had submitted detailed representations in respect of the proposed amendments, supported by an economic report analysing the economic effects of the amendments. It said it had been advised that the amendment to Regulation 276 “stands to be reviewed and set aside on, inter alia, the bases that it is a
breach of the agreement between the government and Phumelela, unlawful, irrational and unconstitutional.” Accordingly, on March 29, 2019, Phumelela instituted an application to have the amendment of Regulation 276 reviewed and set aside; and an urgent application to suspend the implementation of the amended Regulation 276 pending the outcome of the review application. Stuart said that management was engaging with key stakeholders in the horse racing industry. “We remain open to any realistic and constructive ideas that may benefit the horse racing industry and the shareholders of Phumelela,” said Stuart. The group said it would continue to pursue its strategic objectives, which included being the standard bearer for thoroughbred South African horse racing and offering punters an exciting gaming experience through its betting operations. International business, driven by Premier Gateway International on the Isle of Man, and local online betting exchange Interbet, both returned strong results, while locally Betting World and Superbets suffered lower profitability during the period following a tough December, which presented unusually high results favouring customers, in particular soccer bets. Stuart added that the group’s Superworld joint venture comprising Betting World and Superbets, which contributed a 75% share of earnings, had been progressing well and was now profitable.
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Lottoland Granted Two Licences in South Africa Online lotto operator Lottoland has been granted two licences by the South African Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board. THESE COMPRISE a bookmakers license to offer fixed odds betting contingencies to South African consumers and a manufacturing licence to develop and use its own software for business operations. Both licences are now in effect. Lottoland’s South African website is now live, enabling South African players to bet on the outcome of over 30 lotteries from around the world. This will be the first time that South African citizens can win record jackpots as with the US Mega Millions and the US Powerball or the European jackpots. Lottoland’s manufacturing license will enable Lottoland’s B2B arm, Lottoland Solutions, to partner with licensed African bookmakers who wish to offer similar international jackpots to its existing customer base and have them insured through Lottoland. 08 I Gaming For Africa I
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Lottoland’s proprietary risk management, that recently paid out a Guinness World Record €90m to one lucky player, enables more and more leading operators to benefit from Lottoland Solutions unique and proven lotto betting solutions. Lottoland’s CEO Nigel Birrell said: “We are pleased to have been granted these licenses in South Africa. Lottoland now holds twelve regulated licenses around the world – a great achievement for us and testament to us as a global brand and company. “We strongly believe that Lottoland is uniquely placed in the South African market to be able to offer our portfolio of fixed odds lottery products and insurance-related services giving South Africans the opportunity to win some of the largest jackpots in the world.
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Sun International Achieves Growth Despite Weak Economy Resort hotel chain and casino group Sun International announced on Wednesday its operations achieved growth in gaming revenue and a satisfactory earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) performance in the year to December despite an increase in value-added tax last April and weakness in the South African economy. IN A business update and trading statement, Sun International said its subsidiary Sun Slots produced strong results while Time Square, which became fully operational following the opening of the hotel in April 2018, continued to increase its market share in the Gauteng province gaming market. Its Sun City resort in the North West province however reported weaker results than anticipated as a result of the current economic environment and the cancellation of a few large conferences, although this was expected to improve during the second half of 2019 based on the rate of forward bookings. The group’s Latin America operations recorded strong performances during the second half of 2018, both from a revenue and EBITDA perspective led by Monticello in Chile, which showed a strong
recovery following a shooting During the period under review Sun International said it managed to reduce its borrowings from R15 billion at the end of 2017 to R14.7 billion at 31 December 2018. “Given the strong cash generation of the group and the completion of Time Square, the group is comfortable that it will continue to reduce its debt levels. The group continues to trade within the debt covenant levels agreed with its lenders,” it said. Sun International said it expected headline earnings per share for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 of between 190 and 225 cents per share, compared with the prior headline loss of 180 cents per share, an increase of more than 100 percent.
Tanzanian Gaming Industry Revenue Climbs Revenue contributions to the government by the Tanzania gaming industry is set to increase to TZS96bn (US$1 = TZS2345) this financial year, up from TZS78bn paid in the 2017/18 fiscal year, on account of the growth of technological innovation and improved business environment.
GAMING BOARD of Tanzania Director General James Mbalwe said in Dar es Salaam recently that apart from revenue contributions, various gaming companies had invested a lot of money as capital. “The improved business environment has led to the gaming industry attracting more investments, leading to increased sector’s contributions to economic growth,” he said. Recently, the government temporarily banned advertising gaming activities on electronic media. He added: “Over the past few years, Tanzania has recorded massive growth in tax collections from gaming activities, due to the rising number of players and tighter controls,” Mr Mbalwe also said that the growth of technological innovations had witnessed the introduction of online casino games, SMS Lottery and sports betting. He said more than 20,000 people had secured direct jobs in the companies engaged in gaming sports, thus becoming one of the important sources of employment. The gaming industry that currently contributes over 3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, impacts more on retail trade as experienced in
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other countries. Many people tend to visit the lottery locations, which increases demand for goods and services. He said the board had been operating and functioning under laws and regulations for the broader interests of the country. Mbalwe added that the board was consistently improving infrastructures on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems in order to increase revenue collection efficiency. He said the board plans to transform the current revenue collection system into the electronic version and link it with the systems of the gaming companies used in their day to day operations, in order to increase efficiency in revenue collection. Statistics show that sports betting companies are taxed 25 per cent, SMS are taxed 25 per cent, each slot machine is charged 43.11 US dollars, the nationals lottery is taxed 20 percent and machine sites 25 per cent. Physical casinos are taxed 18 per cent while digital casinos are taxed 25 per cent of revenue after winnings. The Gaming Board was established by the Gaming Act No 4 of 2003 that oversees the whole gaming sector in the country.
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Mykonos Treats Suppliers and VIPs to April Fool’s Golf Day Mykonos Casino treated its suppliers and VIP guests to a fun-filled April Fool’s Golf Day in Langebaan recently. IN THE spirit of the day, golfers dressed up in their ‘Foolish’ outfits and braved the blustery Langebaan wind and rain. But, in true West Coast form, the brave souls were treated to a spectular sunset, cameraderie and after-golf drinks around the fire during the prize-giving, as Mykonos Casino GM and Director of Operations, Clive van Groeningen oversaw the awards.
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Children Benefit from Phumelela Gaming Royal Race Day It doesn’t always have to be a knight in shining armour who rescues a princess. Sometimes the princess can be the one doing the rescuing. WHEN IT comes to our very own Princess Charlene of Monaco, that is exactly how the story has unfolded so far, and on 13 April, the next chapter in the fairy-tale was written. Hosting the Royal Race Day at Turffontein, HSH Charlene, Princess of Monaco, once again ensured that Gugulesizwe Primary School and Les-
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Emperors Palace Hosts Princess Charlene of Monaco On the eve of the Royal Race Day at Turffontein Racecourse, held on Saturday, April 13, Emperors Palace hosted a dinner for Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, some of her family, close friends and members of the racing fraternity at the 5-star Dóreale Grande hotel’s Aurelia’s Restaurant. On hand to welcome the Princess and her guests to the dinner on Friday evening was the Palace of Dreams’ Complex Operations Executive, Clive Tavener and Peermont Chief Operating Officer for Gaming, Bob Yearham.
abe Primary School in Benoni were be the main beneficiaries, receiving a donation of R50,000 each. The Princess launched her Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation at the Gugulesizwe Primary School grounds in 2012. She has also donated her childhood swimming medals to the school to inspire young learners who have an interest in pursuing a swimming career. On her most recent visit to South Africa in February this year, Princess Charlene, who hails from Benoni, also visited the school, accompanied by her children, the royal four-year-old twins Princess Gabriella and hereditary Prince Jacques. “I have taken a personal interest in the school and I will support them and do my best to make sure that the learners at the school are exposed to great sports, health, and safety so that they can build a great community around them,” she said. A number of learners from these two schools were hosted at Turffontein on the Royal Race Day where they played a significant role in welcoming Princess Charlene on her arrival. The Royal Race Day is an annual event held in honor of Princess Charlene at the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg and features a very strong charity component focusing on children. “I look forward to attending this year’s Royal Race Day at the historic Turffontein Racecourse and, of course, continuing the support of a number of worthy causes,” she said. “To have the horse-racing community rally behind this is quite extraordinary. “Hopefully the day will also contribute to restoring some of the glamour back into the sport of racing.” Learners from Park Senior Primary School, Turffontein Primary, Die Mossie Primary School, Highveld Primary and Rosettenville Primary in the Turffontein-area were also hosted on the day, where the focus was on family entertainment and, of course, the sport of kings, with the running of the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m with total stakes of R1,000,000, as well as two Maiden Plates, of which one is for fillies and mares only, with total stakes of R250,000 each and sponsored by Princess Charlene of Monaco.
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Namibia Unveils Draft Gambling Laws to Attract Foreign Investment Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta recently said the public should use lottery and gambling machines for leisure, and not for financial benefit. HE MADE these remarks during a consultative two-day workshop being held in Windhoek on the draft regulations of the new Lotteries Act and the Gaming and Entertainment Control Act. The minister said there are people, including pensioners, who take their money to gambling houses, hoping to make more money from their earnings. He added that gambling is just there for entertainment. Shifeta said the new lottery and gambling law protects both the public and the licence holder, and safeguards anyone who is underage from participating without proving that they are at the required legal age. “We want to keep gaming crime-free, make sure that gaming is fair and open, and we want to protect the player as well as the licence holder, and children and vulnerable adults from being harmed and exploited,” he stated. Shifeta said a gaming board could also require that licensed gambling operators who provide products to consumers put in place measures to help people who might develop a gaming addiction. “The mission is to promote the industry in a more productive and posi-
tive light to remove any stigma that exists,” he said. Shifeta added that casino gaming could also be used to attract foreign direct investments. Currently, the gambling industry is regulated under the Casinos and Gambling Houses Act of 1994, which will be repealed by the new Gaming and Entertainment Control Act. While tabling the draft law last year, the minister observed that the country has 260 licensed slot machine operators, of which six are casinos while 254 are gambling houses. There was a total of 2 845 registered slot machines (1 145 in casinos and 1 700 in gambling houses), which contribute N$22 million to government coffers annually. According to the minister, the government estimates that there are roughly 20 000 unlicensed gambling machines in about 2 600 illegal gambling houses countrywide. The tourism ministry’s executive director, Teofilus Nghitila, said the state had received revenue all these years only from the legally registered gambling houses and casinos. However, this will change through the new act. “Under the new act, all gambling houses must be registered. There will be an electronic monitoring system, and there will be gambling inspectors with the powers to arrest people, and to seize assets,” he stated. Nghitila added that there would be significant sentences for offenders, which will include both hefty amounts and stiff prison terms, or both. The lotteries sector would also receive an entirely new legal framework, with all lotteries being controlled and regulated. “There will be only one state lottery, and the state intends to protect that state lottery to ensure that it generates much-needed revenue for social welfare,” he said. Restrictions would likewise be placed on all other lotteries, including promotion competitions and private lotteries.
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Konami and GamingAnalytics.AI Partner to Provide Intuitive & Insight-driven Data Analytics Leveraging data through Konami’s SYNKROS® casino management system with GamingAnalytics.AI’s search-driven cognitive computing platform, users across the enterprise can ask questions via search bar or voice commands and receive instant answers, instead of constructing complex queries. AI’S SELF-LEARNING platform continuously improves with use, providing slot machine recommendations, predicting player behaviors, and identifying actions to improve player experience and operational profitability.GamingAnalytics. “Konami’s SYNKROS system is known in the industry for providing robust, operator-centric solutions, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to partner on making data analytics more intuitive and accessible,” said GamingAnalytics.AI Founder & CEO Kiran Brahmandam.“Many property teams today are drowning in data, and existing data analytics solutions in our industry are complex, labor-intensive, and prohibitively expensive. By partnering together, GamingAnalytics.AI and Konami have created a first of its kind in the industry: fast time-to-value data analytics product that is affordable, and actionable.” Under this partnership, SYNKROS and GamingAynalytics.AI empower teams to focus on meaningful decision-making, rather than gathering data and navigating report generators.
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Investing in Tech will Ensure Industry Survival says Tourvest CEO “When Tourvest first exhibited at Africa’s Travel Indaba in 1988, there were just 27 exhibitors and 40 buyers. Today, Africa’s Travel Indaba attracts some 1,000 exhibitors and 1,500 buyers and our aims for being at the event has changed,” says Martin Wiest, Tourvest CEO. “Last year, over 48,000 meetings were scheduled between buyers and exhibitors with 20,000 new business leads created. This is mainly thanks to modern communications and technology, which has changed the face of the tourism industry. What matters nowadays is brand positioning and brand equity, both of which require the latest technological and digital assets to get right.” TOURVEST, which is the biggest integrated destination management group in the southern hemisphere, is investing R30-million in technology development in a bid to become bigger, better and faster. We understand that the industry has become more about marketing and utlising the right digital channels. Those companies who can adopt, understand and adapt will survive. Driving many of these trends is the millennial generation, now in their twenties and thirties, who are techsavvy and are comfortable with using digital resources to facilitate their travel plans. Globally, up to 45% of all travellers are using their mobile devices to do this. So, it is clear that technology in the tourism industry is not a trend but is here to stay. At Meetings Africa 2019, South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, emphasised the importance of the tourism industry adjusting to the demands of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ to remain globally competitive. He called for the industry to embrace and become early adopters of beneficial new technologies. From a macro perspective, the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents South Africa with the opportunity to create and disseminate more commodities to international markets, which, in turn, can attract tourists to South Africa. In addition, success will come to those companies who understand their customers and who have the lowest cost distributor for commodities. However, with all the talk of adopting new tech, a platform such as
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Africa’s Travel Indaba still presents tourism stakeholders with valuable face-to-face time. “Tourvest is attending its 31st Indaba and is investing R5-million into the exhibition. We will bring along around 120 staff members, including junior employees as part of their training and team building. With all these resources invested in the exhibit, being at Indaba 2019 cannot be measured in monetary terms.Its true value is in starting new relationships and building on existing ones, which exceeds the tangible cost benefit. It is an opportunity to engage with colleagues within the industry, clients, media and others who passionate about tourism so as to influence perception,” says Wiest.
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Gambian Officials Undergo AML Training for Casinos and Non-Financial Institutions The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Gambia has commenced a three day training for designated nonfinancial businesses and professions, such as casinos, to combat money laundering and terrorism. FUNDED BY the European Union in collaboration with inter- governmental action group against money laundering in West Africa (GIABA), the programme was aimed at harmonizing the implementation of preventive measures on money laundering, both in the Gambia and within the West African sub-region. The Gambia comprises the country along vast tracts of the Gambia river, as it stretches into a swathe of Senegal, which has 3 casinos and bingo hall offerings. The theme of the training was: “Training workshop for harmonizing the implementation of preventive measures on money laundering and terrorism financial businesses and professionals (DNFBPs) for casinos, dealers in precious metals and stones.” Alagie Darboe, FIU Director who doubles as GIABA National Correspondent, said this is the fourth of series of training programmes organized under the project. He also underscored the aim of the training which he said was to improve the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism in West African states. Mr. Darboe disclosed that FIU is an agency established by the government to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other criminal conducts as provided for in the (AML/CFT) Act 2012. “In this extractive sector to which dealers in precious stones and metals belong, significant challenges abound as far as money laundering and terrorism financing risks are concerned,” he underscored. He said the Gambia anti-money laundering and combating of ter-
rorism financing act (2012), in line with the financial action task force recommendations, has made provisions for stakeholders in the designated non- financial businesses and professional sectors. He urged all participants to embrace this call to action, and further expressed hope the training program will prepare them to be responsive effectively to the challenges highlighted.
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Loot Box Systems - Is it Gambling? By Sergio dos Santos, a Candidate Attorney at Webber Wentzel
Whenever you think about gambling you usually imagine yourself hitting the jackpot at a slot machine in the casino. However, what if gambling covered more than just a chance at winning a tangible prize? Does South African law recognise the possibility of gambling for virtual-items? IN RECENT years the video game industry has come under severe criticism for the use of the so-called “loot box system”. The loot box system (LB system) entices a consumer to purchase a virtual container in a video game, using either virtual currency or real-world currency. A consumer is then rewarded with a randomised virtual item selected from a pre-determined range that will either enhance the gaming experience or merely modifies the look of the video game. The more valuable the item - the lower the probability of being rewarded with that item. Many people, especially in the European Union, believe that the LB system should be classified as gambling, and therefore be regulated, due to the fact that you pay for a chance to win a randomised reward. Should it constitute gambling, this would be worrying as the gaming industry targets children. Should this classification exist in South Africa? The Lotteries Act There are two pieces of legislation that regulate gambling in South Africa: the Lotteries Act and the National Gambling Act. Section 1 of the Lotteries Act defines a lottery as: “any game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan, promotional competition or device for distributing prizes by lot or chance and any game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan, competition or device, which the Minister may by notice in the Gazette declare to be a lottery” Based on this definition, it seems that the LB system may be classified as a lottery. Some argue though, that the video game and the system form one indivisible product, with the latter being dependent on the former. The argument continues that as the video game was developed for the purpose of entertaining gamers rather than allowing gamers to gamble, the system is part and parcel of the entertainment purpose. Although the system and the video game form part of the same package, it can also be argued that the system is actually separate from the video game. Following this line of argument, the system was designed for a different purpose and it can operate on a platform that is entirely separate from the video game. The video game can also function as intended without the system, which we saw when the video game developer Activision Blizzard was able to remove the system from some of its games in Belgium. Therefore, as it is the system that rewards customers through the element of chance, and not the video game, it is possible to classify the system as a lottery. The actions of Activision Blizzard were in response to the Belgian government
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declaring the system to be a form of gambling. Belgium is not the only country to have done this as similar steps have been taken in The Netherlands. The regulators of the European Union have also begun to consider regulating the system and they have warned video game developers to consult the gambling laws of each market. The National Gambling Act Section 3 of the National Gambling Act defines a gambling activity as one involving bets, wagers, totalisator bets, bingo or any other gambling game. It is clear that the loot box system does not involve any betting, or wager placements or bingo and it is therefore necessary to determine if it could be classified as a gambling game. Section 5 of the National Gambling Act defines a “gambling game” as one where a player, upon payment of an amount, will become entitled to or receive a pay-out, and the result is determined by skill, chance or both. Section 6 of the National Gambling Act defines a pay-out as: any money, merchandise, property, a cheque, credit, electronic credit, a debit, a token, a ticket or anything else of value won by a player (a) whether as a result of the skill of the player or operator, the application of the element of chance, or both, and (b) regardless how the pay-out is made. The system thus meets the criteria of section 5 (and in turn section 3). When purchasing a loot box using real world money you will generally become entitled to or receive some form of virtual item, the value of which is determined by the element of chance. Some argue that the virtual item received has no value (and so does not constitute a pay-out) as the value that would be attached to that item only exists within the game itself. This cannot be true because the value of the virtual item would be the amount paid by the consumer on the loot box. Also, section 6 does not require the pay-out to have value for all people, but rather that it has some form of value. Some video games also provide the consumer with the ability to convert their rewards into real-world currency. For example, some virtual items obtained from the video game, Counter Strike (or Counter Strike Go), can be sold on Steam (a platform that runs the video game) for currency that can be used to purchase other products on this platform. These virtual items from Counter Strike can also be sold on other third-party sales platforms that allow peer-to-peer transactions for real-world currency (which has also occurred with virtual items obtained from the renowned World of Warcraft video game). If the loot box system is not classified as a lottery or gambling, the question remains whether it should be regulated in some way. The Entertainment Software Rating Board and the Pan European Game Information, which are the organisations responsible for regulating the industry internationally, have recommended adding labelling for loot boxes and other in-game purchases as a method of informing consumers that the video game will contain a loot box (or similar) system. This would be compliant with section 41 of the Consumer Protection Act which requires suppliers to inform consumers of any risks of which they may not reasonably be aware. This may not necessarily regulate the system, but it may help to ensure that consumers are aware of its existence and thus allows them to make informed decisions. It seems as if the possibility of classifying the loot box system as gambling exists but nothing is certain until either the courts or the legislator provide some guidance. Until such time, suppliers should consider labelling their gaming packages in order to keep consumers informed.
BTOBET Strikes Deals with Operators in Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and Uganda BtoBet’s footprint in the African iGaming industry has been further bolstered, with its regional Certified Partner – STM Group – expanding the company’s provision of its technologies to White Label Operators in Kenia, Nigeria, Namibia and Uganda. STM Gaming’s participation in next month’s SBEA Expo in Kampala, STM’s Alessandro Pizzolotto stated that in Uganda “Innobet” and “Ugabet” are already basing their operations on BtoBet’s technology. He stated that the White Label Partnership Program has had a big impact amongst White Label Operators who do not have the local knowledge to enter or diversify into the online channel. “Apart from Uganda’s Innobet and Ugabet, BtoBet’s technologies will also be provided to White Label Operators in Kenya, Nigeria, and Namibia. The White Label Partnership Program’s simplified approach coupled with the provision of advanced technology tailored for the local context, regional know-how and operational support are driving factors in the Program’s continuous expansion.” Further delving in the unique characteristics that constitute the African market, Sabrina Solda, BtoBet’s CMO stated that “knowledge is a very important asset for operators given that generally speaking the African sportsbetting industry is still predominantly retail based and only now are operators shifting their attention towards the online and mobile
channel. This lack of knowledge in the online sector requires a strong partner who will not only guide them, but more importantly provide and handle all activities related to the day to day running of their business, such as aspects related to player support, payment methods, and the games and sportsbook content.”
Kiron Interactive Wins Award for Stand Design at ICE Africa
Steven Spartinos joint CEO of Kiron Interaction on winning Best Design Stand award at EXSA-LLENCE Awards 2018: “WE WERE delighted when we heard that Kiron had won Best Stand Design at the EXSA-LLENCE Awards 2018 for our ICE Africa exhibition stand. All credit for our incredible stand goes to our phenomenal stand builders, Brilliant Branding. Their team truly excelled in all aspects of design and execution to bring the Kiron brand to life. It was a very striking stand that turned many heads at the event. ICE Africa 2019 is going to be even better and we look forward to what Clarion has planned for this year as we are sure it is going to be another great event.
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ATOMIC GAMING, official distributors of Interblock in Africa recently installed the sophisticated G4 Auto Roulette from Interblock at Suncoast Casino.Â â€œAs one of Durbanâ€™s most exciting and fun-filled destinations, the Suncoast team is always striving to provide our players with the latest and most diverse gaming offering available. We chose Interblockâ€™s G4 Organic Series because of the trusted track record, sophisticated look, and quality,â€? said Wesley Liversage, Slots Manager at Suncoast Casino. â€œWe are pleased to provide such an exciting electronic tables experience to the players at Suncoast through Interblock. After almost 10 years on the African continent, it is clear to see why the world leader of Electronic Table Games, Interblock has grown throughout South Africa and greater Africa,â€? said Andrew Stewart, Operations Director: Atomic Gaming. For more information on Interblock Gaming in Africa, contact Atomic Gaming, official distributors of Interblock in Africa on +27 11 514 5100 or visit www.atomicgaming.co.za
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BESTBET360 Launches in Nigeria BestBet360 has officially joined the Nigerian gaming market with a uniquely customer-centric portfolio of refined products. AT THE recent media launch, CEO Dolan Beuthin said BestBet360 is a betting company that will put the customer first at all times, not only by offering the best odds, but by rewarding customers on a regular and transparent basis with boosted promotional odds. “At BestBet360, we put the customer first. Our goal is to make betting simple and easy. That is why we are offering an initial matching bonus up to N150 000. And unlike other companies, we don’t wrap our bonus in complicated terms and conditions, so our customers can actually claim and activate their bonus with ease.Even better, we will regularly offer special Pictured at the BestBet360 Media Launch in Lagos. L-R: Stephan Goosen, CTO, Comedian Funnybone, Chairman boosted odds windows. So, for a one-hour win- John Storey, CEO Dolan Beuthin, Operations Manager Bernard Grootherder, Marketing Manager Tracy Grootherder, dow on regular occasion, customers can get Communications and Strategy Consultant Colin Udoh. special promotional odds over and above normal odds that others are offering, including us. watch their favourite clubs in Europe. All of these will be done transparently Our technology-driven systems mean that payments will be the fastest and because for us, the customer comes first. As a socially responsible brand, easiest.” we will be fully invested in the communities where we operate across the Chairman John Storey, says the team are excited to be in Nigeria and country with unique corporate social initiatives that will leave long and lastthat BestBet360, as a business, will not only be about the customers, but ing benefits in those communities.” also the community Beuthin also announced that the company will depart from the norm in “Nigeria is one of the most dynamic markets in Africa with a people naming its first Brand Ambassador in the coming weeks. who boast rare entrepreneurial skills and abilities, and we are especially “It is a changing world and we are determined to keep in step with the proud to launch a new investment here following on from our highly sucdynamics of the modern world, so when we announce our Brand Ambassacessful Jacaranda Casinos in Lagos. We believe in the Nigerian people and dor, it will reflect that move away from predominantly male soccer players. know they deserve something back and that is why we will reward our Our choice will also align with our CSR initiative to deepen our connection customers on a regular basis, starting with this summer, where we will take with the communities and also the Nigerian nation.” two customers to Egypt to watch Nigeria compete and hopefully return as BestBet360 will open its first betting shop in Anambra State and will be African champions. Our customers will also occasionally get a chance to go online nationwide at BestBet360.com
New Slot Machine to Benefit ‘Save the Rhino’ Campaign PARIPLAY, A GAMING technology company serving iGaming operators, land-based casinos and lotteries, has launched Rumble Rhino, a new online video slot designed to take players on a journey through the raw beauty of the African landscape. More than just a great gaming experience, 10% of all Pariplay’s profits from the Rumble Rhino game will be donated to Save the Rhino International (SRI), a UK-registered charity with a mission of protecting endangered rhino species. Richard Mintz, Commercial and Marketing Director at Pariplay, said: “We’re 32 I Gaming For Africa I April / May 2019
excited to partner with SRI for the release of Rumble Rhino, which gives players a rewarding gameplay experience with the added benefit of contributing to a thoroughly deserving charity and an admirable vision. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and makes our games stand out – Rumble Rhino is a prime example of that effort.
Gaming Industry Appointments
Irvin Nkosi Appointed as Peermont Promotions Manager Emperors Palace, a Peermont property and South Africa’s ‘Palace of Dreams’, has announced the promotion of Irvin Nkosi as its new Promotions and Entertainment Manager. Nkosi will oversee the planning, production and execution of entertainment projects at Emperors Palace, as well as casino promotion campaigns. Nkosi boasts 15 years of experience in the casino industry, having started his career as a slot attendant and working his way up to the position of Casino Host in just four years. He later began pursuing a career in the promotions field, leading him to the position of Promotions Manager at Emperors Palace in 2017. “It’s a big step up in responsibility from my previous role, and it feels good to take on a few new challenges,” says Nkosi. “I have always had a desire to do and be the best in whatever role I am in, so this is a great opportunity to prove myself and spread my wings.”
Nigeria to Automate VAT on Lottery and Betting The Lagos Federal Government in Nigeria has engaged with lottery and gaming operators, as it plans to implement an automated collection process to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) on lottery and gaming activities. This comes against the backdrop of government’s efforts to increase revenue from economic activities other than oil. AT A RECENT forum organised by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in conjunction with the National Regulatory Commission (NLRC), FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, assured gambling sector operators that every concern would be addressed in a transparent manner. The operators had argued that the VAT and its automation holds the potential to kill lottery and betting sectors within the broader gambling industry, as the additional five percent charge could discourage punters from using their services as frequency as they currently do. The founder of Nairabet and House of Representatives member-elect, Akin Alabi, said the potential reduction in hoped-for winnings, especially on low-odds bets, would drive customers from regulated operators into the hands of unregulated ones. According to Alabi, FIRS should have consulted with operators before taking the decision to impose five percent VAT and the automation of collection. In response, Fowler said that the tax burden would be borne the customers, not by the operators, adding: “Tax has to do with law and the law says that for every transaction that is ‘VATable’, five percent should be charged. You have to be aware that we are automating collection in all industries. “This is not a tax on the business, but on a bettor, who hopes to win. You also have to realise that 85 percent of VAT goes to the state,” which Fowler said would benefit the country overall. “In this case, we are all winners.” Also present at the forum were the Director-General of NLRC, Lanre Gbajabiamila; representatives of the Senate Committee Chairman on Sports; the Chairman,
House Committee on Governmental Affairs and industry operators. Speaking at the session, Gbajabiamila stated that lottery and gaming operators collect VAT from users of the industry’s services without remitting such to the government, a situation that results in revenue losses. He also noted that betting slips issued to consumers do not indicate VAT as they should. In a presentation made by Zurich Technologies, the provider of the software for the VAT collection, the process Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman will be made electronically, computing the VAT payable by consumers on each operator’s platform by aggregating transactions for a 21-day period, while the operator is given a bill for the VAT payable. The bill is then settled through the online platform, as the software allows operators to file VAT returns, and is flexible enough to accommodate disputes over figures, which operators can resolve with the FIRS through the provision of documents to back such claims. Zurich Technologies explained that automation would improve transparency in the collection process. April / May 2019 I Gaming For Africa I 33
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Nigerian Government Fury as Illegal Operators Siphon Off a Trillion Naira Annually Vows to Stamp out Illegals The Nigerian Federal Government has started moves aimed at putting an end to the activities of il egal lottery operators, which leave losses amounting to more than one tril ion Naira annually. To this end, the federal government through the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) is to police unauthorized online games.
SAVE THE DATE
NATIONAL LOTTERY Regulatory Commission is also considering on one hand to enlist the help of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to monitor the payment settlement services to unauthorized lottery operations; and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on another to ban illegal lottery and gambling activities on GSM networks. It will be recalled that Mr Bello Maigari, acting executive secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has last week raised alarm over the activities of illegal lottery operators. Maigari, said that there were many lottery operators in the country without a licence, adding that this has resulted to leakages in terms of what they were supposed to remit to the trust fund. “Nigerian government is losing more than one trillion Naira every year because of illegal operators. There are a lot of illegal operators in the industry and these are part of the reasons why there are leakages. Some are conducting this business without being regulated and there are chances that such proceeds will be channelled towards crime, fraud and money laundering,” he said.
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