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Date: 07 May 2012
Title: Illegal gambling should be curbed
Pretoria - Illegal gambling in South Africa should be assessed and additionally an action plan on how to curb it should be developed, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
Speaking at a National Gambling and Liquor Policy Council meeting in Cape Town, Davies said the meeting had resolved that South Africa needed to have a clear National Strategy for combating and eradicating illegal gambling.
Davies said this should be done in a cohesive manner with law enforcement agencies.
The National Gambling Board (NGB) has been mandated to prepare an action plan on curbing illegal gambling, he said.
The next level, said the council - constituted by the minister and the provincial MEC's of Economic Development - is to hold public consultations within 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."
The council 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," explained Davies.
The meeting highlighted the need for a national norms and standards framework to guide all gambling activities.
"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," said Davies.
In April 2011, 350 illegal gambling machines had been destroyed since July 2010. - BuaNews