After two years of operating on temporary licenses, the Wild Coast Sun has finally managed to secure a permanent, long-term, 20-year gaming license. The Eastern Cape Gambling Board heard concerns and issues raised at public hearings before deciding on whether or not to renew the Wild Coast Sun’s gaming license which expired on August 31st.
A previous long-term license actually expired in 2019, and the gambling board kept renewing it on a short-term basis. The last short-term license was due to expire at the end of last month.
While it was clear that it was beneficial to renew the license for a 20-year period since so many people’s jobs depend on the Sun International resort, it was important for the authority to hear any concerns beforehand.
At a public hearing, one of the main concerns heard was that the top management of the resort is made up of people from outside the Mgungundlovu area, with claims that this provided fewer growth opportunities for the locals who are meant to be the primary beneficiaries of the casino.
Nevertheless, after deliberations, the Eastern Cape Gambling Board announced that the license would be renewed. Interestingly, the renewal comes on the eve of the resort’s 40thbirthday celebrations.
Graham Wood, the chief operating officer for hospitality with Sun International, South Africa’s leading casino and hospitality group, said: “It has been a long road, but we are delighted to now have a 20-year casino licence, which will expire in 2041. We have worked very hard with our partners, The MbizanaDevelopment Trust and The Mgungundlovu Communal Property Association, to secure our casino licence. This brings certainty to our employees and our surrounding communities.”
Opened in 1981, the Wild Coast Sun is considered one of South Africa’s oldest and most popular casinos. It is located five kilometers south of Port Edward on the coast and is, in fact, Sun International’s only beach-facing property.
This month, Sun International celebrates 40 years of Wild Coast Sun. “The timing of our casino licence is momentous as we are about to celebrate our 40th birthday toward the end of this month,” said the Resort’s General Manager Peter Tshidi. “We now have the certainty that for the next 20 years, this incredible resort, and all of our people, can continue to create great lasting memories for all our guests long into the future.”
Set on 750 hectares of natural bush between the Umtamvuna and Mzamba rivers and overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Wild Coast Sun is a resort that is popular with visitors – not only for its natural beauty but also for its other attractions.
Last year, the Tourism Council of South Africa upgraded the Wild Coast Sun to four stars in the hotel category, following a number of upgrades and improvements made to the property.
At the time of receiving the upgrade, Peter Tshidi explained the appeal of the resort. “Visitors can walk from our property and right onto pristine white beaches that stretch for miles,” he said. “And on that walk, they can even hunt for old relics that have washed up from old shipwrecks along the coast. This is a truly beautiful and unique part of South Africa and a great place to book a family holiday.”
The Wild Coast Sun Casino has a variety of table games and slot machines tailored to appeal to many preferences. All games have smoking and non-smoking facilities, and the slots smoking area has a walk-up bar. Beverages are served at several bars on the casino floors.