Following the declaration of a national state of disaster, the National Gambling Board (NGB) has cautioned the public to avoid the temptation to access unlicensed gambling operators.
Among the interventions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to the nation as part of government’s effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, was a prohibition on gatherings of more than 100 people.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NGB said it was confident that licensed gambling establishments would take the necessary steps to implement the precautionary measures called for by the president, particularly in instances where there would 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,” said the board.
The board added that unlicensed gambling operators had been, and continued to be, unlawful.
“Consequently, members of the public accessing their services will have no certainty of protection in terms of hygiene or 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 NGB, which is an agency of the department of trade and industry, urged the public to abide by the president’s announcement, as these measures had been put in place for their benefit.
It further encouraged the public to refrain from gambling when the usual gambling destinations were 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.”