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South Africa to Launch Campaign against Illegal Online Gambling

- December 2, 2015 By Oliver Young -

Flag of South Africa

The casino industry in the country generated a R17.2 billion revenue year-on-year

Online gambling is still illegal in South Africa but there are foreign operators that illegally offer their services and products to SA residents. In July a representative from the National Gambling Board announced the country’s plans to form a multi-disciplinary task force to fight illegal online gambling. Recently the Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) announced that it is going to launch an educational campaign to inform people on the consequences of illegal iGaming in the country.

The campaign will run until the end of the first quarter of 2016 and is designed to emphasize the real problems behind illegal online gambling in South Africa. It will warn online bettors and players as well as inform gambling operators on the consequences they could face from being involved in illegal gambling on the web.

The chief executive officer of CASA, Themba Ngobese, noted that they have been tracking illegal and unregulated online gambling in SA and are worried about the increased number of illegal operators that are targeting South African people. “It may seem fun to play casino games online, but SA players are unprotected and gambling operators are not regulated to run a business in our country,” he added.

About the Campaign

The educational campaign will be running across various media platforms and will contain information on the legality of online gambling in the country and the consequences of such activities. These include a R10 million fine or 10 years in prison for both operators and players.

Ngobese pointed out that if SA players gamble online and win, there is no guarantee that they are going to get their winnings. Also, the winnings will be forfeited by the credit card company. “It’s quite concerning to see sites displaying the South African flag on their homepage and stating that they are licensed and verified and offer banking in South African Rands (ZAR),” he added. “They are simply luring players to spend their money without any protection and tax return.”

Ngobese is constantly fighting attempts to legalize iGaming in the country by claiming it may hurt the land based gambling industry.

Land Based Casinos in South Africa Return to Growth

On the positive side, the Casino Association of South Africa yesterday released its yearly Survey of Casino Entertainment in South Africa for 2014-2015. According to the numbers, the yearly contribution to the South African national economy increased by 4.5% from last year.

In particular, the numbers reveal that the entire gambling industry in the country generated revenue of R24 billion for the fiscal year which is a 9.6% improvement year-on-year. The casino industry alone generated R17.2 billion which is 4.5% higher year-on-year. The same industry also contributed R5.7 billion in form of taxes, up 3.6%.

Ngobese commented that the numbers demonstrate an important contribution SA land based casinos make toward the country’s economy. He also added that the capital expenditure of CASA members this year came to R2.3 billion despite the economic downturn in SA which has seen people lowering their spending on non-important items like gambling.

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