Casinos offer chance of retail design boom

International News:Clare Dowdy + 44 171-439 4222

Hospitality and retail design in South Africa is being given an extra boost with the planned distribution of more than 20 new casino licences.

The government is reissuing 17 gaming licences for sites in the former homelands and is inviting applications for 23 more as part of its National Gaming Act to open up the market.

The first of the republic’s nine provinces to invite bids is Npumalnga. Seventeen applications were lodged earlier this month, including designs by Design International for the Riverside Mall at Nelspruit.

Plans for the 30m development feature a regional shopping centre with a restaurant terrace, casino and cinema complex, an office park and flats.

Patrick Flanagan, director of property consultant Colliers RMS which is advising the casino operator Southern Sun Group on the Nelspruit site, sees opportunities for international design groups which are prepared to put staff on the ground.

“South Africa has a great deal of design skills but it is not specialised enough,” he says.

The Nelspruit licence is due to be awarded by March 1997.

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