Proposals to create a gambling tax in South Africa have come under attack from all sides as the industry realises the adverse effect that it could have.
The tax was initiated by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan late last week in his budget speech but everyone from the horse racing industry to casinos have told of the problems it will cause.
Horse racing, the fourth largest sport in the country, would be the worst affected of and some have even gone as far to say that it will become completely obsolete.
Rian du Plessis, group chief executive of Phumelela, an operator of horse racing in a number of provinces in the country, said: “We will seek an urgent meeting with the minister to explain that he would be destroying the fourth-largest sport in the country, along with thousands of jobs.”
In the country tote betting principally supports horseracing and this would take quite a hit under the plans.
As far as the bookies are concerned, the plans have not gone down as badly. Lisa Haines, from SportsBet, said, “It’s ridiculous. This is now a third tax on bets after VAT and the 6% gambling tax we’ve had to pay to the province for the past three years.”
Although she did add that, it gives them a leg up on the burgeoning lottery industry, as they will now be subject to the same level of tax.
The language being used is all rather dramatic but we’ve seen the criticism that certain territories have received for exorbitant tax rates and the amount being proposed in South Africa is just as bad.