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South Africans Warned Again About Online Gambling

South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies warned South Africans that online gambling is still illegal.

Davies, who was speaking at the International Association of Gaming Regulators Conference in Cape Town said that residents should not begin gambling online, as the Gambling Review Commission's recommendation to regulate online gambling has not been approved.

"If you're a South African and you participate in online gambling and you win, your winnings are the proceeds of an illegal activity." Davies said.

In regards to the Northern Gauteng High Court's ruling that banned online gambling sites from South Africa, Davies said: "Unless or until we take a decision that we run a licence (allowing online gambling) and in what form and what way - I think it will be a subject of a massive debate if we do indeed decide to go this route. I think everyone needs to know that they must not engage in this activity."

The Minister of Trade and Industry also said that his department has developed regulations to control online gambling, but the South African Parliament has held those back. He also said that the gambling industry is growing at double the rate of the country's GDP, but noted there needs to be a balance between jobs created by the industry and the effect it may have on the public.

The Gambling Review Commission was formed in 2009 by Davies and released its findings this year, recommending legalization and regulation of online gambling.

With a problem gambling rate higher than than many countries in Europe, Davies issued an opinion as to how they are marketed and how players should look at the hobby:

"Among ordinary people, gambling is promoted as a life-changing possibility, including the Lotto ... when in fact anyone that goes in with that presumption is going to be sadly disappointed.

"If you want to play these games, you must be prepared to take the entertainment value. If that's entertainment, and you must be prepared to lose, because the only consistent winnings are (for) the people who run the operations," he said.

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