Saturday April 13, 2013 : S.A. GAMBLING AUTHORITY CONFISCATES MAN'S ONLINE WINNINGS
Unlikely that SA resident will be able to claim his cash
The South African National Gambling Board could find itself in court after confiscating a Johannesburg resident's R40,000 in winnings from a UK betting website.
The unnamed man has commenced legal proceedings against the Board after it withheld money he won through online gambling.
NGB chief executive officer Baby Tyawa remains unapologetic, saying: "Any form of unlicensed online gambling in South Africa is prohibited and is a criminal offence."
He said the board had received a letter of demand from the gambler's lawyers, but that it was unlikely he would get his R40 000 winnings, achieved after placing a R20,000 wager on a British online gambling website.
Tyawa said the money had been put into a trust account controlled by National Treasury, which has around R3.5 million forfeited by other illegal online gamblers.
Tyawa warned that online gamblers could be fined R10 000 or face imprisonment if they are caught.
He said many South Africans were unaware it was illegal.
The NGB was working with all major local banks and the UK Gambling Commission to monitor South Africans who place bets online, he said.
South Africa has struggled for years to come to terms with online gambling, with extensive educational visits to regulated jurisdictions by MPs, parliamentary debate and comprehensive reviews, but only limited internet gambling on sports sites has been permitted thus far.