WATCH: Illegal gambling robs SA of much-needed tax revenue
CAPE TOWN – The Casino Association of SA (Casa) has said that illegal gambling operations were eroding the revenues of licensed casinos and were negatively impacting everything from job security, corporate social investment budgets to their ability to support the economy through taxes.
Casa, in a statement released on Thursday, called on the government to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to illegal gambling activities and unlicensed casinos.
The association, which represents the interests of South Africa’s legal casino gambling industry, said it noted an alarming increase in illegal gambling and if immediate action was not taken to stamp out these criminal activities, the negative impact on the economy, and society in general, could be far reaching.
Casa’s chief executive, Advocate Themba Ngobese said licensed casinos paid a massive portion – about 36 percent – of the value that they generated to the state through various local, provincial and national taxes and levies, and even a small percentage decline in revenues can result in dire consequences for the industry.
Laws in place
“Not nearly enough is being done to combat illegal gambling. There are laws in place but they are meaningless without a firm and consistent commitment to enforce them. Unfortunately, there will always be people who believe that illegal gambling and illegal casino activities are somehow victimless crimes but nothing could be further from the truth,” said Ngobese.
“In the year ended March 2017, our members experienced losses in revenue of almost 2 percent, attributable in large part to aggressive illegal gambling activities. That may not sound like much but for an industry that contributes almost R6 billion in taxes and levies, a few percent points can have a massive knock on effect,” he said.
Casasaid: “Ngobese implores the government to step up with a deliberate and concerted effort to enforce its laws to protect the regulated gambling industry and the public.
The general public is also encouraged to stamp out illegal gambling activities by reporting suspicious operations.”
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE