NGB South Africa Looking At Stopping Offshore Casino Operators
Online gambling is not permitted in South Africa as it is banned under current gaming legislation. There have been attempts in the past to get the ban overturned but so far nothing has prevailed.
South Africans love to gamble online as there are many offshore operators who have launched online casinos specifically targeting the South African market. These offshore operators are not licensed to operate in South Africa but continue to do so as there is a huge demand.
Offshore casino operators offer lucrative sign-up bonuses and allow South African players to deposit and withdraw funds in the local currency. Players have had a great time playing and winning at these offshore online casinos as they were not worried about facing consequences from the law.
This is because the existing gaming law targeted offshore operators and no penalties were imposed on players who played at these offshore casinos.
Online Gambling Winnings Confiscated
All that could very well change as the National Gambling Board recently confiscated a total of R80,000 from two South Africans who had played at offshore casinos back in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Mark Lennard from Johannesburg and Scott Rodwell from Cape Town played at offshore casinos and won a lot of money which they would later deposit at a Standard Bank.
Standard Bank notified the gaming regulator stating that they suspected that the funds deposited came from illegal gambling activities. The reason why the gambling regulator took so long to investigate and process the case was because they were dealing with their own internal challenges which took a long time to sort out.
The bank held on to the funds in a trust account and waited for the courts to make a final decision on the matter. The High Court in Pretoria finally ruled that the proceeds from both gamblers could not be remitted to them and as a result the winnings were confiscated and handed over to the state.
Players Could Now Come Under The Hammer
The ruling from the High Court and the action taken by the National Gambling Board have shown that the gaming regulator is now willing to crackdown on offshore gambling operations from a different angle. South African players now know that there is a possibility that their winnings could be confiscated; it might discourage them from playing at these offshore casinos.
There is no report as of now as to whether the gambling regulator will target South African players going forward.