SA firm to run casinos in DRC

A South African company has acquired a R1billion deal to run casinos and the lottery in Democratic Republic of Congo .

A South African company has acquired a R1billion deal to run casinos and the lottery in Democratic Republic of Congo .

Skhoma Gaming and Lotteries Africa has partnered DRC company Sonal, which has been running lotteries in that country since 1922.

Skhoma spokesperson Ongama Koyana said the deal was worth more than R1billion a year.

"Skhoma will be responsible for the regulatory aspect of the running of the lottery while the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) will take the operational aspects.

"Nafcoc will then get technical partners who will be responsible for the running of the lottery," Koyana said. "For the casinos, there will be a bidding process next week to determine who will be responsible for their operations.

Skhoma was formed in 2006 and has been involved in advertising and mining logistics in this country. It has also been involved in mining in Angola and Nigeria.

"We will be exporting expertise to help set up the whole operation in DRC," Koyana said.

He said the deal would open opportunities for South African companies in the DRC. "South African companies specialising in media, advertising, production of scratchcards, project management and training can apply for contracts in DRC. We expect to create 500 jobs for South Africans in the process."

Skhoma has negotiated with Nafcoc and the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union to lead a consortium of South Africans as well as international operators for the outline and implementation of the lotto operations in the DRC.

"We believe our operations will be transparent because of the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a globally recognised firm which will verify all the processes," Koyama said.

"A trust will be formed in which the public of the DRC will buy shares in the lottery. We will then take that company and list it in the JSE."

Tony Munongo, manager of Gareco, one of the partners in the DRC, said the deal was a breakthrough for the gaming and lotteries industry.

"For the past decades gambling has been going on in the DRC but it lacked proper management, advertising, marketing and technological advancement," Munongo said.

He said the deal was expected to create about 20000 jobs in the DRC over the next three years.

"Our partnership with South African companies will strengthen our relations between the two countries and open doors for other investments."