Bid to curb illegal gambling in province

FINANCE MEC Louisa Mabe has promised political support to the North West Gambling Board's efforts to eradicate illegal gambling in the province.

Mabe said this during the destruction of more than 1,000 confiscated illegal gambling machines at a scrap yard in Klerksdorp.

The machines were confiscated in Klerksdorp and Orkney as well as Rustenburg and Brits.

"There is no way that we will allow illegal gambling to continue and thrive in our province.

"We are fully behind the destruction of illegal gambling machines and activities that have been eating into the revenue collection of the province.

"Illegal operators do not pay levies and taxes and this impacts on the equitable share of the province as it declines," she said.

Mabe also called on the board to institute criminal charges against illegal operators.

Despite the increase in revenues nationally, the North West showed a decline of 0.4% - R16.2-million - which could be attributed to the increase in illegal gambling sites.

North West Gambling Board's chief executive Fortune Sekgaphane said although gambling could be a powerful economic driver in terms of job creation, investment and tourism, illegal gambling was an evil of all evils and needed a concerted effort by all stakeholders to eradicate it.

He said the board had signed a memorandum of understanding with the police's organised crime unit and intended to join forces with other law enforcement agencies to overcome the problem.

"They do not own up to the socio-economic problems which are associated with gambling like problem gambling to which they contribute significantly."