Rob Davies, the South African Minister of Trade and Industry, warned citizens that online gaming in the country remains illegal under current South African gambling laws. The Minister added that South African banks could even investigate winnings from foreign based gambling destinations.
We have already reported on the Supreme Court ruling on the gaming legality, read more in our (Online Gambling in South Africa is Illegal Rules Supreme Court) article. Davies told South Africa gambling news that citizens should not hurry with gaming just because the Gambling Review Commission put forward licensing proposals.
The Minister said: “If you’re a South African and you participate in online gambling and you win, your winnings are the proceeds of an illegal activity.” He added that under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica), the banks are free to question those that show winnings from online gaming activities.
“Unless or until we take a decision that we run a license and in what form and way – I think it will be a subject of a massive debate if we do indeed decide to go this route. I think everyone needs to know that they must not engage in this activity,” the Minister stressed.
He spoke about his department receiving several proposals from local companies to license online gambling. Online gaming software development in South Africa is still allowed as long as the software is destined for other gambling jurisdictions.
Davies noted that his department has already developed regulations needed to control online gambling, yet the Parliament held these back until a study on online casinos in South Africa is reviewed. The report would become the subject of public hearings as soon as lawmakers are done with it.
The Minister outlined problem gambling as the main obstacle in the way of online gaming legalization. He said: “Among ordinary people, gambling is promoted as a life-changing possibility, including the Lotto … when in fact anyone that goes in with that presumption is going to be sadly disappointed.”
He continued to say: “If you want to play these games, you must be prepared to take the entertainment value. If that’s entertainment, and you must be prepared to lose, because the only consistent winnings are [for] the people who run the operations.”