During the sixth Biennial South African Gambling Conference in Durban, trade and industry deputy minister Elizabeth Thabethe addressed delegates concerning the viability of the gambling industry in South Africa.
Thabethe described a situation in which over R16 billion had been invested in gambling and gambling industry activities ranging from casinos, hotels and horse racing.
Further investments in the industry have yielded excellent results that have helped boost the economy and create hundreds of jobs. Thabethe was quoted in the Times Live stating “An investment of approximately R230 million has been made with more than 400 indirect jobs created and 180 direct jobs created.”
Additionally, Thabethe said in the article by Times Live “Sun International would spend R1 billion on the Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth on or before 2012 and create more than 500 direct jobs.”
The government has reaped benefits from the gambling industry taking in more than R4 billion in taxes with gross gaming increasing by two percent to more than R16 billion in 2010 compared to the previous year.
With these figures, it is clear that the gambling industry is somewhat of a cash cow for South Africa and warrants further investment.
It stands to reason that if land-based gambling can be so successful in South Africa, a regulated online gambling regime like many other foreign jurisdiction have long put into practice could yield significant economical gains. Without question, it is certainly something the Gauteng Gambling Board should be considering instead of outright banning.