The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has noted with concern media reports suggesting that there may be operators that are offering online gambling in South Africa, which is illegal. Online gambling, or what others refer to as remote gambling, is not allowed in South Africa, and the National Gambling Board together with other law enforcement agencies will act on this illegal activity with immediate effect.
the dti has made it publicly clear that there is no intention on the part of government to propose the legalisation of online gambling in South Africa. This means this activity remains illegal, and any person offering or operating such a business is committing an offence under the law. Perpetrators, whether operating an illegal establishment or participating as individuals could be liable to a fine of up to R10 million and/or 10 years in jail.
There are arguments that government is losing on the opportunity to generate revenue through online gambling in the forms of taxes, however generating tax revenue cannot be at the expense of the South African citizens, some of whom are over indebted and living in poverty. There are a number of social ills associated with gambling, especially online gambling which occurs in unregulated and unsupervised locations. Other forms of gambling that are allowed in South Africa take place under strict supervision in locations that are designated for such activities.
Online gambling is not desirable and the dti has raised its objection to the proposal by the Democratic Alliance to legalise online gambling. In our view no amount of control will adequately curb the harm that may be caused to South African citizens by online gambling, hence we reiterate that it must remain a banned activity.
Members of the public are urged to report online gambling and any other form of illegal gambling activities to the police on 08600 10111. For any further information on gambling contact the National Gambling Board on 086 722 7713.
Issued jointly by the dti and the National Gambling Board
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti
Contact: Shaheed Manuel
National Gambling Board