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Rain or shine, Suncoast on line

There is a place in Durban that has not slept since coming into existence five years ago. One of the major destinations in this eastern coastal city, the Suncoast Casino attracts locals and tourists alike and the daily footfall averages a staggering 20,000-25,000, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: May 04, 2009 01:11 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

There is a place in Durban that has not slept since coming into existence five years ago. One of the major destinations in this eastern coastal city, the Suncoast Casino attracts locals and tourists alike and the daily footfall averages a staggering 20,000-25,000.

The place is owned by Tsogo Sun, which runs four other casinos in the country, and occupies a floor space of 7000 square metres. Most of it is full at any time of the day and the daily revenue is an astounding 2.5 million rand.

The sprawling area is well equipped to keep gamblers busy for hours. There are smoking and non-smoking playing areas, bars, eateries and also a private section for exclusive clients who don’t want to go public with the amount they are betting (The sum can go up to two million rand).

The play stations can be divided into two sections — slot machines and tables. There are 1350 slot machines accepting bets ranging from five cents to 25 rand. If you are lucky, an investment of one rand can fetch 1,000,000 rand!

The table games include roulette, poker and blackjack.

Apart from generating astronomical revenue, the casino is also a big source of employment. There are 889 permanent employees apart from contractors, suppliers and interns, according to public relations manager Prinella Pillay.

December is the busiest month and sees an attendance of about a million. “Not just foreign tourists, locals and national travellers too form a big part of our clientele. Saturday is the busiest day, while Sunday and Monday are the slow days,” she said.

A tour of the place gives an insight into the concentration that goes into the exercise. Eyes glued to the screens, the hands are either busy pressing buttons or inserting coins. The lucky ones collect the returns following the sound of coins raining on the trays fixed to the slot machines.

Their success keeps the others going and ensures the casino never sleeps.