PORT ELIZABETH - New technologies and gaming could lead to an increase in the revenue base for the Eastern Cape province, Economic Development MEC (member of executive council) Mlungisi Mvoko said on Monday.
"It is still our fervent belief that through the infusion of new technologies in the 4th Industrial Revolution and optimal regulation, gaming could lead to an increase in the revenue base of the province," Mvoko said while speaking at the 15th Gaming Regulators Africa Forum taking place at The Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth.
"It comes as no surprise that technology has had a remarkable impact upon the gaming industry. So, if you are wondering how technology is impacting the gaming industry then you need to look no further than how a crypto currency like Bitcoin has revolutionalised the realm of online users."
This year's conference, themed "Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Impact on Gaming in Africa", brings together representatives from countries which include Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The conference is focussing on global economy shifts and the impact of this on the global gaming industry.
Mvoko told delegates the shift to legalize gambling and the growth in the sector has benefitted provincial fiscus.
He said the industry had given consumers an additional choice of recreation, generated considerable tax revenue and increased employment.
Mvoko said the provincial economy grew by an estimated R985 million over the last five years as a result of the gambling industry.
He said the Eastern Cape economy was predominantly driven by car manufacturing and tourism industries. But an ongoing global economic crisis has brought about an indirect decline in both industries.
"Obviously, in a province where these industries are major job creators and key contributors to the Gross Domestic Product, the effects are more raving. It is therefore critical that alternative industries like legalized gaming are enhanced to diversify our economic base."
Mvoko said the gaming and gambling industry must be boosted in a manner that supported and facilitated economic development.
- African News Agency (ANA)