Online gamblers have forfeited more than R1-million of their winnings to the state.
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies points out that online gambling is illegal and, should South African citizens participate in online gambling and win, their winnings are the proceeds of an illegal activity and they will therefore be confiscated and forfeited.
The National Gambling Board (NGB), an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), is the national regulator in the gambling industry in South Africa.
In terms of Section 16 of the National Gambling Act, 2004, the NGB is obliged to investigate the circumstances of illegal gambling activities including illegal online gambling. Upon determination of such illegal gambling activity, it applies to the high court for an order declaring that the unlawful winnings be forfeited to the state.
Caroline Kongwa, accounting authority of the National Gambling Board, says that gamblers can also be liable for criminal prosecution.
“The public is cautioned to be wary of online gambling, which is illegal in South Africa. Thus, anyone participating in any illegal online gambling activity would be unable to receive any winnings and would expose themselves to criminal prosecution,” she says.
She adds that citizens caught gambling illegally or running an illegal gambling establishment will be targeted and they will face criminal charges or a fine to the maximum of R10-million or both.
Davies has also expressed concern that online gambling could be used to launder money. It is on this basis that the banks continue to collaborate with the National Gambling Board to confiscate the unlawful winnings.