Denise Williams
1 minute read
28 May 2015
4:30 am

DA backs online bets

Denise Williams

Legalising online gambling would allow South Africa's fiscus to grow by R5 billion a year. Championing his own draft Private Member's Bill – called the Remote Gambling Bill – author and DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis told the trade and industry portfolio committee R450 million would be reclaimed.

Gambling. Picture: Thinkstock

This excluded licensing fees for gaming operators.

“My focus is on lost revenue. Currently online gambling takes place en masse and revenue is lost to other jurisdictions,” Hill-Lewis said.

“South Africa derives no benefit from this. This is a loss to the fiscus, which could be used to fund enforcement. Prohibition requires new resources to be devoted to enforcement with no cost

recovery. Regulation is inherently self-funding. It is funded by the licence fees of the operators and the tax they pay to the SA fiscus, not foreign governments.”

Hill-Lewis said it was bad legislative practice to draft laws which were unforeseeable. It encouraged people to see the law as “whimsical and unimportant”.

“Think e-tolls,” he saidd. “Prohibition created a potential breeding ground for organised crime, which was far more difficult to police. Added to that was the impact prohibition had on people who suffered with a gambling problem.” – denisew@citizen.co.za