Responsible gambling begins with educating the public, and South Africa’s National Gambling Board is aiming to do just that in the coming weeks. Together with the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Gambling Board will kick off a roadshow across the country, with the aim to educate South Africans about responsible gambling. These roadshows will begin this week, the first one scheduled to be held in Bochum, Limpopo. The organizers said that they want to create awareness of the consequences of gambling from a socio-economic point of view, showing that gambling responsibly is possible and beneficial.
The acting deputy director of general consumer and corporate regulation at the Department of Trade and Industry, MacDonald Netshitnezhe said that, as a national department, the DTI recognizes the positive socio-economic benefits that can be derived from gambling, both in terms of creating jobs for South Africans and also the contribution of gambling to South Africa’s gross domestic product.
“We are also cognizant of the negative socio-economic impact of gambling,” added Netshitenzhe, “hence the education and awareness roadshow is aiming at encouraging people to gamble responsibly and within the legal limits.”
The roadshows, to be held in different locations around South Africa, will educate the public about a range of issues dealing with responsible gambling, including how to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed gambling operators. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the public will learn how to identify problem gambling or gambling addiction in friends and family members, including the symptoms to look out for and the methods to treat the problem.
Netshitenezhe said that the DTI wanted communities to become aware of legal and illegal gambling activities. They would also be taught about the different penalties that the National Gambling Act has the ability to impose. The executive said that gambling operators in South Africa had to understand that they have certain responsibilities and obligations which they need to comply with in line with national gambling legislation.
The National Gambling Board’s responsibility is to oversee the regulation in South Africa’s gambling industry in all geographical locations, as well as to preserve the integrity of the country as a responsible global citizen.
In addition, the National Gambling Board’s objective is to sustain and grow its regulatory capability to “position South Africa as the pre-eminent jurisdiction with an exemplary and effectively regulated gambling industry,” according to the NGB’s website.