On December 1, 2015, the Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) published the Survey of Casino Entertainment for the fiscal year 2014-2015. According to the figures, this year’s contribution to the South African economy recorded an increase of 4.5 percent from last year. In other words, the casino industry contributed R17.2 billion to the gross domestic product in SA.
The increase in numbers is believed to be a direct result of the anti-illegal gambling campaign launched by CASA. The educational campaign was designed to educate people about the consequences of illegal gambling on the web and warn operators that are illegally offering gambling products and services to SA people. According to the campaign, the consequences are a R10 million fine or 10 years in prison for both players and operators.
Politicians from the opposition have being trying to convince the government to legalize and regulate online gambling for a long time now, but the ruling party is entirely against it. The government even launched a multi-disciplinary task force to fight illegal gambling reportedly promoted by more than 2,000 websites.
Back to the figures from the CASA’s survey, the entire gambling industry in South Africa generated R24 billion in revenue for the fiscal year, up 9.6 percent year-on-year. From this number, the casino industry accounted for R17.2 billion. The casino business also contributed R5.7 billion in form of government taxes, a 3.6 percent year-on-year improvement.
The chief executive officer of CASA, Themba Ngobese, commented on the figures saying that they point to the important contribution land based SA casinos make towards the economy of the country.