Following the major success of online platforms in the last two years, market trends have changed dramatically. Land-based casinos have been amongst some of the hardest hit, with a steep decline in customers that’s been slow to improve. Instead of folding, however, many land-based casinos have begun to embrace online gambling instead. This has provided an opportunity for finding new ways to recover their customer base and revenue.
Sun International, South Africa’s largest casino chain, has top-class resorts and venues all around the world. It’s one of the most recent big-name casinos to jump on the online gravy train. And with outstanding results.
Massive Revenue Boost
Recently, the company reported a 100 percent increase in the annual basic and headline revenue. This came after its overall income rose by 29 percent to R7.8 billion.
The casino resort and hotel segment, though has improved by about 39 percent since the decline, only generated around R1.5 billion of the overall revenue. Which is still far below pre-pandemic levels. This is also due to the great cost of maintenance, stock, employee salaries, interest, taxes, and so on. The casino reported R56 million in losses in 2021, which is substantially less than the R156 million in the previous year. A very optimistic sign of re-growth.
In its financial report, Sun international mentioned that the easing of lock-down restrictions in South Africa allowed for a substantial improvement. Domestic attendance at key destinations such as their Sun City and Wild Coast Sun casino resorts has gone up. Nevertheless, the demand for new solutions and incentives is still high. The fact remains that they are still running at a loss.
The inclusion of online gaming and sports betting, however, has provided much of the needed respite. It’s brought back some level of the success that casino chains once enjoyed. With Sun International’s new digital platforms taking off, they are effectively beginning to adapt and take advantage of the mobile and smartphone marketplace.
Sunbet, Sun International’s major online betting platform, on the other hand, has reported a massive increase in profit. Furthermore, lucrative deals have been struck with world-renowned casino software developers such as Playtech. Developing Sunbet is now considered a key strategy to help bring the casino company back to its former glory.
Fears of a new wave of Covid-19 infections in South Africa further hampering the livelihood of businesses are ongoing. However, the gradual improvement of attendance, as well as the success of their new online supplement, Sunbet, has brought hope to Sun International.
With new deals and acquisitions for Sunbet, which now also operates in Nigeria and Chile, the additional profit it brings is set to only increase. In the years to come, the online platform will likely work hand-in-hand with land-based casinos and become a vitally important source of revenue.