South African appeals court upholds online gambling ban; Phumelela year-end

TAGs: Casino Enterprises, Phumelela, Piggs Peak

piggs-peak-phumelela-south-africaSwaziland-based online gambling outfit Piggs Peak is breaking the law by offering services to South African citizens, according to a South African appeals court. The South African National Gambling Board had declared online gambling off limits in August of 2010, but Piggs Peak’s owners, Casino Enterprises, never accepted the decision, arguing that the actual gambling was taking place beyond South Africa’s borders. Unfortunately, the appeal court’s unanimous ruling has ruled out any ambiguity – any South African who gambles on Piggs Peak is now breaking the law, as is any South African media outlet that accepts advertising from online gaming companies. Casino Enterprises has since advised its South African customers to withdraw their positive balances, as it will no longer take their action.

Not everybody’s frowning in South Africa. Parimutuel-betting outfit Phumelela Gaming and Leisure saw total betting income rise 4% to R883m (US $109m) for the year ending July 2011. Net betting income was up 6% to R666m ($82m) and CEO Rian du Plessis was eager to point out that the share of profits derived from international operations had risen from 28% to 39%. Taking out currency fluctuations, international profit had grown 55%, spurred on in part by greater comingling of product with the UK Tote. Looking forward, great things are expected from the new (effective June 1, 2011) five-year deal Phumelela signed with Satellite Information Services (SIS) to beam their races onto UK betting shop TV screens. In a backhanded reference to SIS competitor Turf TV, du Plessis noted that the fees stemming from SIS were “substantially higher than those paid by the previous licensee.”


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