Limpopo MEC probes illegal machines used for illegal gambling

Rodgers Monama said his department would not rest when foreign national were conducting illegal gambling in his province

Furious Limpopo MEC for economic development, environment, and tourism, Rodgers Monama spent the better part of this week probing illegal machines used for illegal gambling, which he later disposed off in public with the help of the police and officials from the Limpopo Gambling Board.

Limpopo has five regions, and Sekhukhune, according to Monama, led the pack with 95 confiscated illegal gambling machines, followed by Mopani with 82, Capricorn with 71, Waterberg with 49 and Vhembe with 29.

These machines, Monama said, were confiscated from spaza shops owned by foreign nationals throughout the province. Money accrued from this illegal gambling, the MEC said were not banked in any of the provincial banking institutions, but used to fund criminal activities such as illegal cigarettes, illegal mining, drugs, human trafficking and prostitution.

Illegal gambling

Monama said his department would not rest when foreign national were conducting illegal gambling in his province.

“Gloves are off to begin a war on illegal gambling. But in order to win this fight, we will need all stakeholders to pull up their sleeves to end the scourge.”

Speaking in Polokwane during a media briefing on Friday, Monama said the machines were becoming a problem and a thorn, which impacts negatively on the province’s economic growth. He said gambling has been identified as a key player to loan all the bottle necks that hampers economic growth in our homes, in the community, our regions, and in the province as a whole.

ALSO READ: Limpopo confiscates 337 illegal gambling machines ‘owned by foreign nationals’

The MEC said the mere fact that gambling was legal in Limpopo was for the mere fact of swelling the province’s economy and nothing else.

“It was fighting poverty in our homes and communities, fighting unemployment and inequality. However, the positive trajectory that this sector is now driving is unfortunately wrongly used to increase activities of illegal gambling.”

Illegal gambling machines being destroyed. Photo: Supplied

Gambling machines

He said through the assistance of the police and the Gambling Board, it has been revealed that these illegal gambling machines are distributed throughout the province by unknown suppliers at night.

“The department’s entity, Limpopo Gambling Board, together with the police confiscated these illegal machines in the period of October 2023,” he said.

The Citizen can reveal that a total of 290 machines were destroyed only this week by the department.

“We are a department serious about fighting illegal gambling because these machines are used for illegal gambling activities, and the money generated is not accounted for through our provincial financial platforms. The money is instead used to fund other criminal activities such as illegal cigarettes, illegal mining, and human trafficking,” said Monama.

ALSO READ: Gambling board pleads with people not to turn to illegal establishments

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