The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Saturday that it had confiscated the winnings of several gamblers who won a total amount of R1.25m in online gambling sites.
Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies had previously cautioned that online gambling was illegal and that their winnings would be forfeited to the State after an application through the High Court. He 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” he said.
The DIT said in a statement on Saturday “The unlawful winnings to the amount of approximately R1 250 000 were derived from illegal gambling activities specifically online gambling”, “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”, “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 R10m or both.”
National Gambling Board accounting authority Caroline Kongwa said: “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 licensed gambling operator prohibiting an illegal gambling operator from offering illegal online gambling.” “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”.
A public appeal has been made by the board that anyone can report websites which advertise online gambling and establishments in South Africa which offer online and illegal gambling activities to the public.