Minister Says Gambling Illegal in South Africa
Rob Davies, South African Minister of Trade and Industry recently said that internet gambling is still an illegal activity in South Africa, and it is within the rights of banking institutions to question South African residents any net winnings from internet gambling operators.
He also mentioned that just because the Gambling Review Commission proposed the legalization and regulation of internet gambling it does not mean that internet gambling is now legal.
“If you’re a South African and you participate in internet gambling and you win, your winnings are the proceeds of an illegal activity,” he said, pointing to the last year’s ruling by the Northern Gauteng High Court which outlawed internet gambling operators to advertise their services in South Africa, even if their servers are hosted in another country.
He underlined: “Unless or until we take a decision that we run a license (permitting internet gambling) and in what form and what way – I think it will be a subject of a massive debate if we do indeed decide to go this route. I think everyone needs to know that they must not engage in this activity.”
He also said that various proposals were received from local internet casinos that requested licenses for internet gambling, and this won’t damper South African companies that develop gambling software, if it is aimed at other gambling jurisdictions.
Pertaining to the regulation of internet gambling, he said that regulations had been developed by his department but Parliament held it back since further research is necessary.
Even though the industry has already reached approximately double the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), Davies stressed that the public must be aware of the possible harm excessive internet gambling can cause.
“Among ordinary people, gambling is promoted as a life-changing possibility, including the Lotto … when in fact anyone that goes in with that presumption is going to be sadly disappointed.
“If you want to play these games, you must be prepared to take the entertainment value. If that’s entertainment, and you must be prepared to lose, because the only consistent winnings are for the people who run the operations,” he concluded.