South Africa – Public Urged to Refrain From Illegal Gambling Establishments

Following the declaration of a national state of disaster, the National Gambling Board (NGB) has cautioned the public to avoid the temptation to access unlicensed gambling operators.

Among the interventions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to the nation as part of government’s effort to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, was the prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NGB said it is confident that licensed gambling establishments will take the necessary precautionary steps to implement the proactive measures called for by the President, particularly in instances where there will be gatherings of up to 100 persons or more on their premises.

“However, in the event that licensed gambling establishments are temporarily closed for business owing to an escalation of the pandemic, the NGB cautions the public to avoid the temptation to access unlicensed gambling operators, which may still be operational despite the preventive measures in place, whether physically or on online platforms,” – said the board.

The board said unlicensed gambling operators have been, and continue to be unlawful.

“Consequently, members of the public accessing their services will have no certainty of protection in terms of hygiene / health, and no legal recourse in terms of ‘punter protection’ as provincial licensing authorities and the NGB will not be able to intervene in solving winnings-related disputes.”

The NGB, which is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) urged the public to abide by the President’s announcement, as these measures have been put in place for their benefit.

It encouraged the public to refrain from gambling where the usual gambling destinations are unavailable.

“The NGB encourages the public to instead exercise patience and wait until the situation improves. The NGB encourages the public to be vigilant against unlawful gambling activities, and to contact the NGB for any further information.”


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