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Media Statements

Illegal Gamblers Lose R1m 

2017-05-27
 
In unprecedented court proceedings several illegal gamblers have had their unlawfully obtained gambling winnings confiscated and forfeited to the State. The unlawful winnings to the amount of approximately R1,250,000 were derived from illegal gambling activities specifically online gambling.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has previously cautioned that online gambling is illegal and if South African citizens participate in online gambling and they win, their winnings are the proceeds of an illegal activity and they will therefore be confiscated and forfeited to the state.

The National Gambling Board is the national regulator in the gambling industry in South Africa and in terms of Section 16 of the National Gambling Act, 2004 is obliged to investigate the circumstances of illegal gambling activities including illegal online gambling. Upon determination of such illegal gambling activity, it applies to the high court for an order declaring that the unlawful winnings be forfeited to the state.

Minister Davies has also expressed concern that online gambling could be utilised to launder money. It is on this basis that the banks continue to collaborate with the National Gambling Board to confiscate the unlawful winnings.

Ms Caroline Kongwa, the Accounting Authority of the National Gambling Board emphasises that besides the forfeiture of unlawful winnings in favour of the state, the punters who partake in illegal gambling activities are liable for criminal prosecution.

The public is hereby cautioned to be weary of online gambling offerings, as online gambling is illegal in South Africa, and thus anyone participating in any illegal online gambling activity would be unable to receive any winnings and would expose themselves to criminal prosecution.

Citizens caught gambling illegally or running an illegal gambling establishment such as  internet cafes that provide illegal online gambling will be targeted and they will face criminal charges or a hefty fine to the maximum of R10 million or both.

“The NGB is encouraged by the judiciary system in considering gambling related matters and in a related matter, the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, granted a court judgement in favour of a licenced gambling operator prohibiting an illegal gambling operator from offering illegal online gambling,”  says Kongwa.

She emphasises that the NGB’s role and mandate is to protect the public. She appeals to the public to report websites which advertise online gambling and establishments (especially those disguised as internet cafes) in South Africa which offer online gambling and other illegal gambling activities to the public

Kongwa also encourages the public to be vigilant to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed gambling operators and be aware of what constitutes an unlawful gambling activity. The NGB can be contacted on 0100033475 and for any further information at www.ngb.org.za. Information relating to any suspected illegal gambling activity in South Africa can be provided to the NGB at fraudalert@ngb.org.za

Enquiries:
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
E-mail: MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti