Mangaung casino on track - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Construction work on local empowerment company Mangaung Sun's R240m leisure development, the Windmill Casino & Entertainment Centre in Bloemfontein, has reached a key milestone this week with the completion of the complex's roof.

The project is a joint venture between JSE-listed Sun International and empowerment group Mangaung Sun International will manage the casino.

Providing an update on the project, Mangaung Sun said the construction site was a hive of activity as contractors and sub-contractors worked feverishly to keep the development on track for its anticipated opening date of September 30.

Already locals had benefited, with some 560 direct and 700 indirect jobs having been created during the construction phase.

With the roof in place, some 70% of construction will have been completed.

By the time the construction process has been completed, some 1.129-million bricks, 3 240 litres of paint and 57 096 roof tiles will have been used.

Mangaung Sun said it was committed to awarding opportunities, wherever possible, to local, previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs and small and micro enterprises, where necessary in partnership with nationally recognised franchises.

In its first year of operation, the Windmill Casino was expected to add approximately R74m to the Free State province's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), thereafter growing to an average of R120m for the next 11 years.

When complete, the complex - with its Herbert Baker-inspired exterior and Moulin Rouge interior theme - will boast a casino with 230 slot machines and 10 gaming tables, a 190-seat conference centre, a children's entertainment facility with a creche, fast food outlets, three specialty restaurants, an 80-room hotel and a service station with a convenience store.

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