Tusk Casino Resorts and Hotels Group has announced its disposal to Peermont Global of a controlling interest in the Tusk Group through the acquisition by Peermont Global of various shareholders interests, including those of Thebe Investment Corporation and the management for a cash consideration of approximately ZAR511.5m.

The disposal is still subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent including the approval of the transaction by the relevant gaming authorities. It is expected that these conditional procedures will be fulfilled during the first half of 2006. The Tusk group owns and manages a total of 838 slots, 35 tables and 271 hotel rooms at five locations situated across North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

The acquisition, which will be financed from Peermont's own resources, borrowings and preference-share funding, lowers the group's dependence on the Gauteng market. Peermont is buying the controlling interest in Tusk from Thebe Investment Corporation and Tusk management. Upon obtaining gaming board and competition authority approval, Peermont will own all of Tusk Umfolozi in Empangeni and 70 per cent of Tusk Mmabatho, Tusk Rio in Klerksdorp, Tusk Venda in Thohoyandou and Tusk Taung in Taung. The remaining interests will be owned by black economic empowerment groups and a Tusk staff trust.

Directors resign from Johnnic Holdings

Cyril Ramaphosa and three other non-executive directors have resigned from Johnnic Holdings following a hostile take-over of the company by Hosken Consolidated Investments. HCI and Johnnic have been locked in a fierce tussle for control of the group, following HCI’s offer of ZAR10.7 a share or one HCI share for every 2.57 Johnnic shares, after acquiring a 40 percent interest in the group in July 2005. Johnnic urged shareholders to reject the bid, which valued it at close to ZAR1.8bn, calling it too cheap, HCI, which controls television station ETV, wants to expand into the gaming business and sought exposure to Johnnic’s assets – including a stake in Tsogo Sun Casinos, owner of Montecasino and 82 Southern Sun hotels.

*  The Fourth Biennial South African Gambling Conference, to be hosted by the National Gambling Board, is to be held from April 19- 21, 2006 at the Cape Sun Hotel, cape Town. The conference is limited to approximately 300 participants and early bookings are essential. The finalized conference programme is on the NGB website

*  Following on from the successful introduction of RFID (radio frequency identification device) casino chips to the South African casino market through Montecasino, Omega Gaming, through its distributorships of GPI’s products, has received an order to replace the entire chips and plaque bank at Emperors Palace Casino utilizing RFID technology. The chips and plaques also include several other innovative high security features.

*  Over 50,000 Atlantis Casino Resort customers have been left exposed to possible identity fraud following a massive theft of personal information from the hotel. Kerzner international has revealed details of the theft in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information stolen included names, addresses, credit card details, social security numbers, driver’s license number and/ or bank account data. It is thought the information went missing from the hotel’s computer database and was the work of either an insider with technology know-how or an outside hacker. The resort has notified Bahamian and US law enforcement authorities and is co-operating with them. As this involves an ongoing criminal investigation, the resort said that it was not in a position to provide any more details at this time, but will do so as and when appropriate.

*  XN Africa has appointed Freegame Electronics as sole supplier of Touch International touchscreens to the casino industry in Africa. “We are very excited about the partnership with Freegame,” said Adrian Mutton, sales and marketing director XNA. “With their extensive experience of touchscreen repairs and replacements in the casino and gaming industry they are the perfect partner to supply the South African market with the Touch International range of high quality, great value touchscreens. ” Freegame has been serving the casino industry for almost six years and the broader market for 15 years specializing in a niche market of servicing, repairing and replacing a wide range of touchscreens, cRTs, chassis and LCDs. “As we are always striving to offer our customers a wider range of effective solutions, the partnerships with XNA to supply their range of touchscreens is yet another step in the right direction,” said Cesar Riorda of Free game Electronics