Cape Town  Casinos

Cape Town Casinos
Grand West, Mykanos and Caledon.

Grand West Casino - Cape Town

Grand West Casino

Grand West Casino Cape Town

For those of you who like to have a flutter Cape Town has a number of casinos you can visit. Before 1994 gambling at a casino in SA was restricted to the homelands that were situated on the borders of our country. With the fall of the apartheid system and the advent of the new ANC government retrictive laws on gambling started to fall away. Small casinos mushroomed everywhere, all of them illegal. The police had a field day raiding them and destroying their equipment. Of course the punters were also arrested and faced charges of illegal gambling. Many got off but a few ended up with fines.

There was a casino ship that would enter Cape Town harbour pick up a batch of gamblers and sail straight out to sea for about three hours turn around and come straight back. It was lawful to do this as the gambling was carried out on international waters. Of course that has all fallen away now and we have legal licensed casinos. There are three of them within a 150 kilometre radius of Cape Town.

The first one is the Grand West casino which is in Goodwood and built on the old Goodwood Showgrounds. This is the biggest one in Cape Town. It has hundreds of slot machines which are housed in smoking and non smoking sections. They are all electronic and only accept gambling cards and banknotes. (no noise of falling coins when you hit the jackpot) Other than the slots there are the various gambling tables for Black Jack and other games. As I am not a gambler I do not know the difference between the games but yes they have a whole range of them.

The complex has many other attractions as well. As you enter the casino to your right there are a number of restaurants and a revue bar where they have various shows. The restaurant area is designed to look like District Six at night.

District six for those who don't know was the area between Woodstock and Cape Town inhabited by coloured families in the apartheid era. They were all removed and placed in other parts of Cape Town and the whole of District six are was raised to the ground. The old streets have been brought back to life and the buildings and narrow alleyways have been reconstructed inside the restaurant area. A visit here is well worth the effort.

On the north side of the casino inside the casino complex you will find a number of takeaway restaurants and coffee shops. There are also cinemas and an olympic size ice rink. Parents who have smaller kids take them to the rink while they go and play the slots.

Near the ice rink is an indoor garden which is absolutely stunning. The displays change with the seasons so that the flowering plants of the season are being displayed.

On the northwest side of the complex they have built a model of the Cape Town Castle which houses the games for the younger people who are not old enough to gamble. Included is an outdoor race track with miniature racing cars. The race track is popular with adults and kids alike.

At the western entrance to the castle there is a large wooden ocean going yacht. It used to be in the Cape Town harbour and took people for cruises into the bay. It is an attraction for the kids who can have a field day aboard it.

This casino is very central being about 15 kilometres out of the centre of town. For those who would like to stay there is also an hotel very near to the casino. It is called the Grand Hotel and is built in the turn of the century style (1899-1949 era) As part of the agreement to allow a casino to be built in Cape Town the owners of the casino had to agree to finance a convention centre in the centre of Cape Town.

This convention centre has been opened and a number of conventions have taken place.

Club Mykanos Casino

Club Mykanos harbour

Club Mykanos Harbour with residential complex in the background

As mentioned in the article above there are three casinos in the Cape Town area. The second casino is found at Club Mykanos which is a holiday resort found on the banks of the Langebaan lagoon on the west coast. To get to this casino one drives up the west coast road for about a 120 kilometres to Langebaan turnoff.

Club Mykanos boasts a Mediterranean setting overlooking the stunning Langebaan lagoon. The club has whitewashed kalivas with brightly painted shutters and narrow alleyways between the buildings. They are used as timeshare units and are extremely popular. There are a number of alfresco eateries and to can it all, you can even have donkey rides.

On entering Mykanos which is built on a hillside you would think that you are in Greece. The area surrounding Mykanos is dry with short hardy bush that bursts into flower in early spring. Mykanos also has its own harbour for small pleasure craft. For those interested in a cruise on the lagoon there is a cruise boat available.

The Casino forms part of the hotel in the complex. It is not a large casino. It has slots and a couple of gambling tables as well. This whole complex was bankrupt due to a scam by the original owners and investment company. Many old people who invested in the scheme lost all their money and a number of them eventually committed suicide.

The good news however is that with the advent of the casino much of the lost money has been recovered and handed back to the investors. Unfortunately a bit late for some.

Caledon Spa and Casino

Caledon Spa and Casino

Caledon Casino and Spa

The third casino is found in Caledon about a 150 kilometres east of Cape Town along the N2( Garden route) national road. This is also a very small casino which has been built on the site of the old warm water spa just north of the town. (the spa has been upgraded and is open to the public) It also has a number of slots and a couple of gambling tables. This casino is built inside the hotel complex and has created a number of much needed jobs in the area. Many of the locals who could not find jobs before have now found employment at the casino.

Caledon is in a grain farming area and had nothing to offer the visitor. With the building of this casino and the hotel the area has been opened up to tourists who can now stay in luxury and yet get the feel of a rural farming town. Caledon is the home of the blue cranes and one can see them in the fields near the hotel. The south side of the hotel overlooks the wheatfields of Caledon.

At harvest time there is a kaleidoscope of colours as you have green, brown and then the golden yellow patches of wheat waiting to be harvested. Its absolutely beautiful. The air there is also very clean and at night you can see stars that you would never ever see in town.

I hope I have wet your appetites to visit this beautiful country of ours.

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Cape Town Casinos