Could Harare Become Zimbabwe’s Casino Capital?
18 May 2024
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 Harare could be on the verge of a new industry

Harare is Zimbabwe’s beating heart. It is the home of culture, commerce, and of course, entertainment. It’s already well known for its rich history, but is there untapped potential for Harare to make a name for itself as the casino capital of the country? Not only would the transformation into an entertainment hotspot create a big boost to the economy, but it could attract even more tourism too.

As it stands, Harare already has a handful of casinos. They appeal to both locals, Zimbabwean tourists, and international travellers. Each contributes to the city in terms of taxes and employment opportunities. However, in order to really make a name, Harare needs to double down on its efforts. Below are some of the ways that the city could do this.

First, A Little Background

For people who aren’t already casino fanatics, the appeal can be difficult to see. If you’ve never played before then a casino guide is all you need to get started. Slot machines tend to be the easiest for beginners, as you don’t need to be good at math to get results. It’s no coincidence that all of Harare’s casinos have slots as their main game. They’re easy for domestic and international visitors to get started with and require less guidance from croupiers.

Of course, table games are important too. Many people enjoy the glamour of visiting a casino. The spin of a roulette wheel or roll of the dice is somehow more glamorous than spinning the reels of the slot machine. All of Harare’s current casinos have a selection of table games, which any new additions will want to keep in mind.

The Full Tourist Package

Victoria Falls are within striking distance of Harare

Now that we’ve covered the appeal of a casino, it’s time to talk about how Harare could make this work. Harare is uniquely positioned in close proximity to famous tourist attractions. Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins are all within easy travelling distance of the city. If travel packages including a stay at a casino resort were combined with Harare’s unique cultural sites, then the city could draw in an array of travellers with different interests. Already the Mazowe Casino Hotel offers stunning rooms, alongside a full casino. Creating further luxury accommodations with pre-planned packages to these destinations would surely bolster tourist numbers.

Employing a Strong Regulatory Framework

One of the biggest stumbling blocks when creating a casino hub is not understanding the framework properly, or not implementing any at all. It’s not enough for casinos to appear to be trustworthy, they need to be completely transparent in everything that they do, while also adhering to guidelines. Ensuring that machines are regularly audited for fairness and croupiers are given proper training is just the beginning of how Harare’s ‘casino handbook’ could look. With clear regulations in place, tourists could feel confident to come and play in this city, knowing they’re getting a fair deal. As well as this, companies with the funds to build casinos could be confident that their establishments will be overseen properly.

The Human Touch

As well as regulations and physical infrastructure, there always needs to be a human touch. Casino resorts bring with them bountiful job opportunities, but only for those who are properly qualified. In order to ensure that Harare is properly prepared to make these resorts work, training programs and educational initiatives could be set up. These could help local people to upskill, enabling them to find success within the hospitality sector.

Outside of employment, finding a way to embody the community of Harare could be a unique selling point of these establishments. Encompassing art from local communities, or images from Harare’s history are unique ways to bring the ‘flavor’ of the city to the resorts. With such a rich background, Harare’s culture could bring a whole new dimension to these casino destinations, helping them to stand out from the rest of the world.