South African Casino Lobby Blames Illegal Online Gambling For Revenue Losses
The debate over whether to legalize online gambling in South Africa is a good example to follow as it mirrors the debate in the U.S. Much like Sheldon Adelson and his coalition against online gambling, the trade body for the South African gambling industry CASA is looking out for the land casinos who fear their revenues will be hit hard if online gambling is legalized.
Currently only sports betting is legal online in South Africa. There are attempts by politicians like Democratic Alliance MP Geordin Hill-Lewis to expand online gambling in South Africa. These efforts are not expected to prove successful as South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry stated last month that there ”is no intention on the part of the government to propose legalization of online gambling.”
The Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) is already singing a familiar tune as they blame illegal gambling for robbing legal land casinos of revenues and the government from enjoying the much need taxes generated.
CEO of CASA Themba Ngobese went on to blame illegal gambling for causing revenues dropping from 10% in 2012-2013 fiscal year to just 0.6% in 2013-2014. He also stated that the government had lost up to R110 million in tax revenues. CASA intend on launching a media campaign aimed at warning of the legal and social costs of illegal gambling where those caught can suffer fines of up to R10m or even up to years in prison.