Closed permanently since April, following the initial Covid-19 hard lockdown in March, Sun International’s once popular Carousel Casino complex in the North West is now up for sale.
According to Galetti Corporate Real Estate, which was appointed by the JSE-listed gaming and leisure group to handle the sale, there is no set asking price but the expansive property is expected to “sell upwards of R200 million”.
This is less than half of the property’s official municipal valuation of more than R500 million. However, the site is not being sold with the casino licence, therefore it’s unlikely to go for that much.
The Carousel, which opened in 1991 and became a popular entertainment hot spot and host of major boxing events, has not been profitable in recent years. Covid-19 dealt the final blow, with Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming announcing in April that the complex would be closed permanently, together with the Naledi Casino complex in the Free State.
Mothballed for over six months now, the property looks like a dusty relic of its former glory, based on photos sent to Moneyweb. But, Galetti CEO John Jack, believes the property represents a “scoop” for savvy investors.
“Steeped in a rich history since 1991, this popular entertainment centre and casino spans 583ha [including hotels, land and a retail section] and presents plenty of redevelopment opportunities,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“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,” Jack added.
He noted that the tourism and hospitality sector has faced significant pressure under the lockdown rules implemented by government.
“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,” he said.
Potential bidders have until the end of October to submit expressions of interest to Galetti on the property.
According to the group, LYT architects has also investigated and designed an entire scheme for the site, following a competitive tender that was run several years back with Group 5.
“With the casino site carrying a special zoning there are a number of alternative uses that the casino can be converted to, while the staff village must remain residential under the current zoning,” it noted.