Sun International is managing to maintain a poker face in a high-stakes game that pits future cash flows against a heap of debt. But the market might not be suckered in. Sun, which recently undertook a R1.6bn rights issue, might have its bluff called, with the gaming giant's debt burden now almost twice the size of its R7.5bn market capitalisation. The big gamble for the group, which first brought "homeland" casinos such as Sun City to SA in the 1980s, is a R4.3bn bet on the new Time Square casino at Menlyn Maine, Pretoria. The Time Square deal, which required Sun to make settlement payments to rival gaming operators, accounts for about R5bn of Sun's total R15bn debt burden. This means that Time Square, which opened in April last year, needs to start paying off quickly. But the crimping of discretionary spending suggests, as detractors have repeatedly argued, that Sun might have overplayed its hand with Time Square. At this point it isone of the biggest casino complexes in SA and en...

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