GGB declares war on illegal gambling
The Gauteng Gambling Board is intensifying its efforts to fight against all forms of illegal gambling. Gamblers and operators face a maximum penalty of R10 million and/or 10 years in jail.“Illegal gambling represents a massive loss in tax revenue. We are declaring a war against illegal gambling,” GGB Chief Executive Officer Steven Ngubeni said.
The National Gambling Act of 2004 bans all interactive online casinos and games such as poker and bingo.
Ngubeni said the GGB, working with the law enforcement agencies and other key stakeholders, will continue to hit hard on all forms of illegal gambling activities in the province.
Ngubeni urged law enforcement agencies to continue conducting operations to make Gauteng free of illegal gambling.
“Illegal gambling occurs when an unlicensed operator or persons offer gambling products to the public. Numerous illegal online gambling sites exist in Gauteng and we want all them closed and those responsible for these operations brought to book,” Ngubeni said. Ngubeni said the GGB was targeting illegal gambling which includes internet gambling, umshayina (fahfee), and any form of betting at unlicensed venuses, such as gambling on internet cafes, on streets and public areas accessible to minors and any other venue without a gambling license.
“To those who are conducting such illegal operations, beware that our law enforcement division working with the police will intensify our campaign against illegal gambling and those found operating such will be prosecuted,” Ngubeni said.
The trend has been more of server based illegal gambling. Most of these establishments use games that are loaded onto an overseas server and the gambling terminal is remotely controlled which makes it hard to prosecute the alleged offenders. Because the server is not at the illegal gambling establishment location it makes difficult for SAPS to prove illegal gambling activities were taking place.
The illegal gambling activities represent a serious threat to the licenced gambling market as they even offer free drinks to their clients and don’t have overheads i.e compliance costs and licence fees that the licenced operators have to contend with.