02/03/2012 : BRIT BETTING EXEC WARNS SOUTH AFRICANS THAT BANS DRIVE PUNTERS OFFSHORE
Betfair public affairs manager speaks out for regulated online gambling
Tom Tuxworth, public affairs manager for the listed British online betting group Betfair, told a South African parliamentary portfolio committee studying the possible legalization of online gambling that prohibition only drives would-be internet punters to offshore and unregulated websites.
ITWeb reports that Tuxworth quoted numbers from H2 Gambling Capital and Gambling Compliance, indicating that online gambling in SA could generate Rands 6 billion in revenue and add an estimated Rand 1 billion in taxes to the state's coffers each year.
Global online gambling was expected to grow at a rate of ten percent a year until 2015, he informed the committee.
Online gambling is currently illegal in South Africa, although the government has been grappling with the possibility of legalization for some years, and a recent gambling review commission recommended such a development.
Tuxworth opined that a realistic approach to internet gambling could also give South Africa the opportunity to become a technology hub for a growing sector, and would create many skilled technology jobs, as well as other jobs in areas such as advertising.