5 men were arrested in Kuruman, a small town in South Africa’s northern cape province when the Kuruman Police discovered a mass of illegal gambling equipment in a truck they seized.
The Public Order Policing unit had acted on information afforded to them by the JTG Crime Intelligence unit, this allowed them to intercept the illegal equipment at a petrol station near Kagung.
The contents of this truck were discovered to be illegal gambling equipment to the tune of R439 000 an amount equivalent to EUR22 416. These included 63 gambling machines, 154 coin inserters, 12 hoppers, 9 mother boards and 152 gambling machine speakers.
Illegal Gambling in South Africa
Illegal gambling and activities related to these illicit practices is prevalent in South Africa. The laws surrounding the industry are strict to say the least, even though recent legislative developments have attempted to loosen the reins on the activity. Most notably, national gambling acts in 1996, 2004 and its subsequent amendment in 2008.
Being one of Africa’s leading markets for gambling at every level, with the national lottery at a 96.9% participation rate, with sports betting, casinos and limited pay-out machines among others producing total revenue of up to R26.3 billion, equivalent to roughly EUR1.3 billion. These are no small numbers and thus, the issues that face law enforcement are vast and, in many cases, go unpunished.
Crime in general is rife and the challenges law enforcement continue to face are nothing short of staggering. Violent crime rates are abnormally high and unfortunately continue to rise and thus one could be forgiven for assuming that illegal gambling may not seem like the most urgent issue. However, illegal gambling is most certainly a threat, not least because crime of such a lucrative nature will inevitably contribute to a rise in all forms of differently categorised crimes.
Gambling in almost all its forms is growing rapidly in the southernmost African nation and attempts to enforce this relatively young industry will be heavily scrutinized regardless of improvements or even a lack thereof.
SiGMA Africa will be back in 2024. Bringing more of the networking, panels, workshops as well as awards for true pioneers of iGaming on the continent.