South Africa needs a clear strategy to deal to combat and eradicate illegal gambling

In DTI, SA Gambling on May 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The National Gambling and Liquor Policy Council meeting that was held on 4 May in Cape Town, has resolved that South Africa need to have a clear National Strategy for Combating and Eradicating Illegal Gambling in a cohesive manner with law enforcement agencies. The Council is constituted by Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, and the provincial MECs of Economic Development.

Minister Davies says the council agreed that the extent of illegal gambling in the country should be assessed while noting challenges identified in curbing this ill. He said the National Gambling Board (NGB) has been mandated to prepare an action plan on curbing illegal gambling and report on at the next meeting.

The Council considered the Parliamentary report on the review of gambling that was presented to the select committee, and agreed that these processes must be respected. To this effect, council affirmed that the next level will be the public consultations with the provinces driven by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The public has been urged to participate in the public hearings to ensure that their views are presented on matters pertaining to gambling in the country. The meeting also emphasised the need for provincial licensing authorities to participate and enrich inputs as well as recommendations.

Minister Davies says the meeting also implored and resolved that the country and various regulating boards should desist from taking decisions in piecemeal, but consider the total recommendations that will come from the NCOP as well as those that have been already presented by the National Assembly.

Davies also says that the council also reiterated that the regulation of Bingo remains an element considered within the Gambling Review Commission report by parliament.

“Against this background Council pronounced that the regulation of bingo be subsumed in the broader review process, pending public consultations by the NCOP, which will inform on how the country must proceed with a national policy and regulatory framework for bingo as a whole, a moratorium on the issuance of all automated bingo due must be halted.

It was noted and agreed that any issuance of, or call for expression of interest on the implementation of automated bingo without a national policy and regulatory framework that determines the number of licenses and play position will undermine the country’s efforts to build a coherent and harmonised gambling regulatory regime’ added Davies.

The Minister says the need for National Norms and Standards framework to guide all gambling activities was highlighted and emphasised by Council members.

‘The meeting reiterated that such national norms and standards will not and must not be ultra-vires to the existing legislations, however they should at the end be legislated after extensive consultations that with including the industry and also consider the submissions made to parliament on the matters of coherence and harmonisation and reduction of duplication’

The meeting agreed that this process should be led by the Director General of Trade and Industry Lionel October, who will work with the Heads of Departments of the provinces. The National Gambling Board will provide the input and all areas of significance for consideration.

Enquiries:
Sidwell Medupe
Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: 012 394 1650
Cell: 079 492 1774
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
6 May 2012

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