Grand Parade Investments: Factory makes first gaming machines

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Grand Parade Investments (GPI) and its German partner, Merkur Gaming, have produced the first two limited payout machines (LPMs) manufactured in South Africa from locally made components at a factory in Cape Town. So far, all the machines used in this fast-growing sector of the gambling market have had to be imported, although the industry contributes more than R50 billion a year to the economy. But GPI, which operates LPMs in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, will make a substantial saving by switching to machines made using spare capacity in the Tellumat factory in Retreat, Cape Town. It formed a partnership with Merkur Gaming last year under the name Grand Merkur. The venture has not yet obtained a local manufacturers’ licence but will go ahead next year using the licence of GPI subsidiary GPI Management Services. GPI chairman Hassen Adams said yesterday that it would expand the product line to include LPMs for casinos, sports betting terminals and lottery terminals. He said GPI and Merkur intended to leverage each other’s experience in the industry. “This is just the start. We expect to create a significant number of new jobs and careers which will naturally provide significant economic multipliers for this country.” GPI was formed in 1997 with membership open only to previously disadvantaged people to allow them to invest in Sun International’s GrandWest Casino and five-star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. Members later voted in favour of giving up this protected status and reducing the stake in GrandWest to expand the investment in the LPM market. The shares have traded on the JSE since 2008 but are tightly held and GPI is still a broad-based black economic empowerment company. The stock fell 0.63 percent to R4.70 yesterday. - Business Report

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