Sun International casino property hits the market

Sun International has put its Carousel Casino complex in the North West up for sale.

Sun International has put its Carousel Casino complex in the North West up for sale. The property shut down permanently in April after the Covid-19 lockdown in March.

According to Moneyweb, the hotel and leisure group appointed Galetti Corporate Real Estate to handle the sale.

The Carousel Casino, which during its heyday hosted major boxing and entertainment events, has not been profitable in recent years. Months of closure due to Covid-19 devastated the already troubled business.

Potential bidders have until the end of October to submit expressions of interest to acquire the property, whose sale excludes the casino licence. Galetti says there is no set asking price, but the property is expected to sell for upwards of R200 million, less than half of the property’s official municipal valuation of more than R500 million.

Galetti CEO John Jack said in a statement that the site carries special zoning, presenting a number of options for converting the casino:

“The property is a unique asset in that it actually needs two buyers, one being retail focused, and the other a mid-tier residential developer, or alternatively we would look at a retirement estate given the game farm and other facilities on site."

John added that LYT Architects have reimagined an entire design for the site, having won the bid with Group 5.

John noted the impact of the lockdown on the tourism and hospitality, saying that: “This has seen marginal assets face closure or re-development. This has led to huge opportunity for investors with strong balance sheets to swoop in and buy well-positioned properties that need a second life.” Naledi Casino complex, another Sun International property in the Free State, also closed down following the lockdown.