Transform SA Digital Issue 25 - Magazine - Page 18
“We should be able to see that machine x is
generating this much money; machine x seems
to be losing a lot of money, what is the issue?. We
can switch off that machine wherever we are until
we can send an inspector to go and investigate,”
He says the board wants to be able to detect how
much money all gambling outlets are making at
a particular time.
“We want to proactively send them invoices to say,
‘this month you have made R100 million, our tax is
R100 000’. We don’t’ want them to declare as they
are doing now.”
“This business automation of the gambling
industry is a legacy project for us. We believe
that by the time these interventions are fully
operational, we should be able to generate more
than R3 billion per annum for the province of
Gauteng in gambling tax revenue.”
ERADICATING ILLEGAL GAMBLING
The Gauteng Gambling Board (GGB), which
regulates the gambling industry in the province,
is urging the public to report illegal gambling
operations masquerading as internet cafés.
“We call on members of the public not only to
report such illegal gambling operations but also
not to participate in such activities. Illegal gambling
operations are bad for our economy, thousands
of jobs are being lost because of illegal gambling,”
says GGB Chief Executive Officer Steven Ngubeni.
Illegal gambling occurs when an unlicensed
operator offer gambling products to the public.
Numerous illegal online gambling sites exist in
Gauteng. “What we want is for all of these illegal
gambling sites to be closed down and for all those
people running them to be brought to book,” says
The SAPS, working with GGB, has been hard at work
to crack down on illegal gambling sites. Several
raids have been conducted across the province to
bring down the illegal gambling operations.
“As a result of the joint effort with SAPS we have
seized thousands of illegal slot machines and
computers. Hundreds of people are now facing
prosecution for operating illegal gambling sites,”
Persons who are prosecuted and found guilty of
illegal gambling could receive a fine of R10 million
or 10 years in jail, or both.
All stakeholders in the industry, Ngubeni says,
agree that the upsurge can be easily curbed if
online gambling is legalised and regulated.
“We’ve done research and we know where most
of the money in illegal gambling is going. People
spend a lot of money in that front. Internet
gambling has grown and spiraled out of control.
These people are not paying tax to government;
the punters are not protected.
“We cannot ensure that you spend a better chance
of winning as much as you stand chance of losing
in that outlet because those people are not
regulated by us,” says Ngubeni.
In order to deal with the upsurge of illegal
gambling, GGB has resolved to seeking permission
from government to have a law enforcement unit
that can have the same powers as the metro police.
“At the moment, we don’t have those powers. We
have got to call in the police to do the arrest and
we have to help them collate the information.
Sometimes it becomes difficult because these are
sophisticated crimes, which our average police
“We want to eradicate illegal internet gambling in
so far as it is illegal. The ultimate goal is to lobby
government to legalise online gambling and allow
us to regulate it. That will allow us to reduce this
illegality. The system ejects illegality once illegal
gambling is regulated”.
Ngubeni says the project has started and a service
provider has been appointed to bring it to fruition.
“We are busy developing necessary modules for
the system. Very soon, we will be piloting it and
head towards the full implementation. It’s already
in motion. We are planning to be fully operational
in about a year’s time,” adds Ngubeni.
“We want to improve our regulatory framework
such that it embraces the new technology. With
the old laws, you can’t regulate new innovations;
you can’t regulate artificial intelligence, big data
and all those things. We want to improve our
regulatory framework to respond to that so we are
able to deal with those issues in a proper manner.
“Our bigger task is to maintain law and order
in the gambling industry by making sure the
environment is fair, not only for the licensee but
also for the punter. When you go to the casino you
must know you stand a good chance of winning
than losing,” Ngubeni concludes.
The GGB reiterates the call for the public to engage
in responsible gambling.
If you are addicted to gambling or know
someone who might need help in dealing
with the addiction, contact the National
Gambling Board on: 0800 006 008. The
number is available in all casinos countrywide.