Thursday June 30, 2011 : Online gamblers and offshore gambling operators reminded on country's gambling laws
 
The South African Government's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has cautioned both offshore gambling operators and resident online gamblers in a press conference held this week on the outcomes of the Gambling Review Commission.
 
Davies warned that despite offshore operators establishing businesses in the country, his department would not be pressured into accepting forms of gambling which are illegal in South Africa.
 
Baby Twaya, chief executive, National Gambling Board warned that those caught online gambling could face 10 years in jail or be fined up to Rand 10 million.
 
The Commission, set up three years ago by the Trade and Industry Department, said its findings show that since 1996 gambling has grown into a "small but maturing sector", and gross gambling revenues, presently at R15.9 billion, had doubled between 2001 and 2009.
 
Gambling appears to have been good to the South African economy with the findings revealing that the gambling sector had created 56 958 direct jobs and in 2009 alone had generated Rand 1.5 billion in tax revenues for provincial Governments.
 
Interestingly most of the gambling industry's clientele is local rather than tourist-based.
 
A framework for gambling is recommended by the commission taking into account recent developments including online.
 
The National Assembly and National Council of Provinces will assess the report and make its recommendations but Davies reiterates that the gambling industry will remain unchanged with its existing 40 casino licences.