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Strong Message To Online Casino Operators?

That would most certainly seem to be the intent of the most recent action by the South Africa Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also referred to as the Hawks). Here is what this is all about. In the off chance you missed the media attention on this story, there were no less than 27 locations raided in the Northern Cape as well as the North West provinces.

For the record, each and every one of the 27 locations that were targeted in this raid were in fact suspected of facilitating and offering access to so-called illegal online gambling sites and online casinos. Take note of the fact that this raid was the result of months of intense police surveillance and monitoring. Understand that this raid actually resulted in the actual closure of 19 such venues. These venues included specially set aside computers for online casino players to access the illegal online casino gambling sites.

As part of the action by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, numerous computers as well as on site gambling machines and an as yet undisclosed amount of cash were seized. More importantly, the persons suspected of being responsible for these online gambling site access points were arrested in this raid. Moreover, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation make it quite clear that additional raids and arrests are already in the works and will be conducted in the near future.

Speaking out on these actions, chief Mthandazo Ntlemeza had this to say about the raids: “…a huge knock to the network of criminal enterprise in both provinces”. Ntlemeza went on to stress the point that this is just the beginning, that more such raids and arrests will be forthcoming as part of a wide ranging effort to clamp down on unauthorized online casino operators across South Africa.

All of the above being said, take note of a rather obvious point that neither Ntlemeza nor other members of the South African government have taken the time to even acknowledge. The undeniable fact that quite a number of South Africans enjoy online casino action, legal or not. The fact that existing South African law prohibits online casino action has in fact done hardly anything at all to slow the increasing popularity of online casino action.

So what does all of this mean? Although the actions of Ntlemeza to stamp out corruption, money laundering and racketeering are without question necessary and appreciated, perhaps there is another approach that could and should be considered. The approach of legalizing and regulating online casinos. Perhaps this issue will be addressed sometime in the upcoming new year.

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