The Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) has appointed a content development agency to launch a searing campaign about illegal online gambling in the country, as New Talks Emerge of the potential of egaming regulation in South Africa.
CASA picked the Sandton based agency Kaelo Engage to implement an intense six month awareness campaign which will run across all media platforms, including online, print, broadcast and social media.
The chief executive of CASA, Themba Ngobese said that the association, which represents thirty five out of the thirty six land based casinos in South Africa, was concerned about the growth in operations of illegal online casinos in the country.
He cited lack of regulation and protection, no guarantees on winnings and penalties on operators as reasons why CASA was against online gambling.
Ngobese, however, does not rule out that online gambling regulation may play a part in a future industry in South Africa.
“We believe that it [online gambling] is the future,” he said in an interview recently. However, he called for South Africans to “stay away from it” until proper legislation is passed.
“If it’s legalized then it’s a fair playing field and everyone should be able to participate in it,” he said, adding however that any operator caught offering illegal online gambling services would be left out of any future legislation.
CASA used scare tactics to justify why the introduction of online gambling in South Africa’s regulated market was not a good idea, saying that they had studied countries in Europe where it was legalized and “in 2013, they reported that visitation dropped by about 20% when these operations were legalized in those specific countries.”
“If that were to happen here, that would have a significant impact on current bricks and mortar casinos and other forms of gambling, of course,” said Ngobese.
Ngobese, said that when considering online gambling regulations, the South African government should look at issues such as requirements for the sites, where they should be based, the type of controls that should be put in place to protect minors and prevent underage gambling, and other such issues.
He also said that the government needs to consider issues such as taxation and how revenues should be collected by each province.
“Would it be a national collection or provincial collection” he added, “and how that would work really in practice.”