Lesotho Casinos

(No Ratings Yet)

It wouldn’t be all that surprising to find that in this dirt-poor, land-locked country, there are no casinos, especially in a place where at least 50% of the population earn their living from subsistence (or peasant) agriculture and those that do have cash paying jobs have them in other countries. But, to apply these suppositions to Lesotho would be to miss the most important fact about the country. It is entirely surrounded by South Africa, and while it is economically integrated into it, it is politically and legally quite separate.

During the years of apartheid and the rule of the highly religious National Party (many of whose members would consider Southern Baptists to be dangerous liberals), there was a certain sense of what you did not do at home in South Africa. People would therefore go to the tribal countries, like Lesotho, to do their gambling. Thus, there is in fact a list of Lesotho’s casinos.

List of Lesotho’s casinos:

– Maseru Sun Hotel & Casino

– Lesotho Sun Hotel & Casino

Both of the casinos are in Maseru, the capital, and the Maseru Casino itself has just slot machines, while the Lesotho also has roulette and blackjack tables.

These casinos are really almost purely for the tourist trade. As above, most of the natives are poor subsistence farmers, not known as great gamblers. The few of them who have cash paying jobs actually tend to do them outside Lesotho (although there are a few local manufacturers: there is a Levi’s plant there, for example). The young men travel to South Africa to work in the mines for six or nine months of the year. It is this highly mobile (and unaccompanied by wives or girlfriends) population that leads to Lesotho’s biggest problem, an amazing epidemic of AIDS. It is thought that perhaps 40% of the population actually carry the virus.

The country doesn’t have much else to offer tourists, so Lesotho’s casinos are really it. They suffer, however, from the relaxation of the rules in South Africa itself and the competition of places like Sun City, which is in another of the tribal areas (what used to be called Bantustans after the name of the racial grouping they all belong to, Bantu). The scenery is OK, but not anywhere as near as spectacular as other areas in the region. Since the largest export is not interesting crafts or much of anything else, other than water and electricity to feed Johannesburg, there’s not really much of a reason to continue to develop the sector. It is therefore unlikely that the list of Lesotho’s casinos is going to get much longer, at least not any time in the near future.

Word count: 454

Comments are closed.