Carousel casino set to be taken over by football identities

Carousel casino in pretoria has been sold to two well-known businessmen

TWO well-known football identities are set to be the new owners of Carousel casino, as long as their licence is approved by the North West Gambling Board. 

Owned by Sun International, Carousel is one of the oldest gambling destinations in South Africa and a very popular venue in Pretoria. 

But Sun International announced in the early stages of the pandemic lockdown that Carousel would not be reopening, with rumours swirling that Lakama Group was deeply interested in taking over the venue. 

More: Top South African live casinos

Well-known businessman and football club boss Mario Morfou and his brother George have now been confirmed as the prospective owners, but they first need regulatory approval to take over the licence from the JSE-listed gaming giant. 

In the interim, Sun International has appointed a management company to run the casino, which is due, along with the adjacent bars and restaurants, to reopen on December 15. 

Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming said the pending sale and the opportunity to do the right thing by long-serving staff had prompted them to appoint a management company.

“Earlier this year we said we would not reopen the Carousel casino after lockdown restrictions were lifted,” he said. 

“This remains the case. By having the management company run the casino, we will be protecting the livelihoods of many previous staff who can now be re-employed.”

In late September, a notice was issued by the North West Gaming Board which revealed the Carousel licence transfer was to Lakama Resorts and Casino, which is chaired by Mario Morfou. 

There has been no announcement from Lakama or the Morfou family at this point in time. 

South Africa has been ravaged by the covid-19 pandemic with many businesses forced to close their doors for the duration. The casino industry has been hit particularly hard, with no online gambling licences available to weather the financial storm. 

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