TO: ALL JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS
RE: THE NGB CAUTIONS THE PUBLIC TO AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO ACCESS UNLICENSED GAMBLING OPERATORS
On Sunday the 15th of March 2020, His Excellency the President of South Africa Mr Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster, in which the government has instituted measures to prevent and mitigate the further spread of the novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. Amongst the measures to be implemented by natural and juristic persons in the Republic of South Africa are: the prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people; social distancing; and the discouragement of all non-essential domestic travel by air, rail, taxis and bus. This is in recognition of the serious threat that the virus poses to the health and wellbeing of South African citizens.
The National Gambling Board (‘the NGB’) has every confidence that licensed gambling establishments, as responsible juristic citizens, will take the necessary precautionary steps to implement the proactive measures called for by the President, particularly in instances where there will be gatherings of up to 100 persons or more on their premises. However, in the event that licensed gambling establishments are temporarily closed for business owing to an escalation of the pandemic, the NGB cautions the public to avoid the temptation to access unlicensed gambling operators, which may still be operational despite the preventive measures in place, whether physically or on online platforms.
Unlicensed gambling operators have been and continue to be unlawful, and consequently, members of the public accessing their services will have no certainty of protection in terms of hygiene / health, and no legal recourse in terms of ‘punter protection’ as provincial licensing authorities and the NGB will not be able to intervene in solving winnings-related disputes. The public is urged to abide by the President’s announcement, as these measures have been put in place for the benefit of the public, and to refrain from gambling where the usual gambling destinations are unavailable. The NGB encourages the public to instead exercise patience and wait until the situation improves.
The NGB encourages the public to be vigilant against unlawful gambling activities, and to contact the NGB for any further information, or if they have information relating to any suspected gambling activity of which they are aware.
Mr Bryan Arumugam
Senior Manager Corporate Governance
National Gambling Board
Cell: 082 925 7575
Issued by: The National Gambling Board