The Casino Association of South Africa (Casa) is calling on the government to adopt a zero tolerance approach to illegal gambling activities and unlicensed casinos.
Casa, the body that represents the interests of South Africa’s legal casino gambling industry, as well as the public it serves, has noted an alarming increase in illegal gambling.
It warns that if immediate action is not taken to stamp out these criminal activities, the negative impact on the economy, and society in general, could be far-reaching.
Casa’s chief executive officer, Advocate Themba Ngobese said not nearly enough is being done to combat illegal gambling.
Ngobese said there are laws in place but they are meaningless without a firm and consistent commitment to enforce them.
“Unfortunately, there will always be people who believe that illegal gambling and illegal casino activities are somehow victimless crimes but nothing could be further from the truth,” said Ngobese.
“Illegal gambling operations are eroding the revenues of licensed casinos and thereby negatively impacting everything from job security, corporate social investment budgets to their ability to support the economy through taxes.”
According to the CEO, licensed casinos currently pay a massive portion (around 36 per cent) of the value that they generate to the state through various local, provincial and national taxes and levies.
He said even a small percentage decrease in revenues can result in dire consequences for a treasury that is already under pressure.
“In the year ended March 2017, our members experienced losses in revenue of almost two per cent, attributable in large to aggressive illegal gambling activities – that may not sound like much – but for an industry that contributes almost R6 billion in taxes and levies, a few percentage points can have a massive knock-on effect,” said Ngobese.
He then implores the government to step up with a deliberate and concerted effort to enforce its laws to protect the regulated gambling industry and the public.
The general public is also encouraged to stamp out illegal gambling activities by reporting suspicious operations. To report a suspected illegal gambling establishment or casino, members of the public can contact the following provincial gambling boards:
Details: Casa Gauteng office 011 581 4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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