Sun International expands footprints
Tourism principal secretary (PS), Thato Mohasoa, has said while gambling is a source of economic growth and a way to attract tourists and investors, it also has negative consequences which should not be ignored.
Mohasoa was speaking at the launch the Lesotho Sun Mountain Privé — a high-profile wing of the hotel’s gaming facility.
The PS, however, said government was proud to be associated with the launch — the second such unveiling in as many months following the re-launch of Sun International’s slots operation at Maseru Sun in February.
Mohasoa told guests that government had noted the hotel group “continues with the vote of confidence in the future and vision of the country by expanding its footprints”.
The opening of the Lesotho Sun Mountain Privé, he added, was going to contribute to the overall growth of the country’s economy.
“This is one of the many steps Lesotho Sun is taking to contribute to the growth of the country’s tourism and leisure sector. They are doing this because they are targeting international players and wish to bring people of high-end value to the country and of-course, to stay over at Lesotho Sun,” Mohasoa said.
However, Mohasoa said although gambling is seen as a tool for economic growth by increasing employment, bringing tax revenue and improving retail sales, it still had a negative social effects.
“As government, we are also not blind to its (gambling) social impacts, particularly to an economy as small as ours. These include bankruptcy, broken families, depression, crime and many others. Whether gambling’s social costs outweigh its economic
benefits is a matter of contention,” he said.
In order to help gamers to strike a balance, Mohasoa said government would review the Gambling and Casino Acts to ensure they are housed and regulated in one ministry.
“The objective of the review is to ensure that our people benefit from gambling while we try as much as possible to minimise the effects of gambling,” he said.
The PS added that government welcomed any activity that increases the inflow of tourists and great opportunities for investment.
He further said the Lesotho National Tourism Policy was adopted to boost foreign exchange earnings and create employment.
“We are aware that in order to achieve this, strategic partnerships with other countries will be necessary if we are to make Lesotho a destination of choice among tourists who choose Africa as a preferred holiday destination.”