The Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury collected just over R104 million in tax from gaming and betting in the first nine months of the 2014/15 financial year, according to figures published by the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board (ECGBB).
Of the total, nearly R73.4 million came from casinos and close to R18 million from Route and Site operations.
A total of R7.2 million came from Bingo halls and R5.6 million from horse racing.
In the memorandum to his Budget for the current financial year, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo states with regard to the 2013/14 financial year that the casino industry is “experiencing a fiscal cliff, which resulted in a reduced number of punters and therefore lower tax receipts..
However, he states, in 2014/15 revenue was expected to grow by 9.8% mainly as a result of the issuing of Bingo licenses in Port Elizabeth, East London and Mthatha. In addition, he states, gambling and betting taxes have been reviewed doe implementation in 2014/15.
The department is aiming to collect R104.1 million from casino taxes in 12014/15, compared to R97.4 million n 2013/14.
In addition, it is projecting that tax collected from horse racing in 20124/15 will amount to R22.2 million, compared to R17.2 million in 2013/14. No projected figures are provided for Bingo and Route and Site operations.
The ECGBB has issued a Request for Proposals for a casino license operation in the Mthatha area as well as a further nine Bingo Hall licenses.
Public hearings for the additional nine Bingo licenses have already been held but the National Assembly’s Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee has expressed concern about the similarity of electronic Bingo machines with other slot machines and wants a blanket moratorium on the issuing of further licenses until national legislation has been amended to clarify the definition of “Bingo”.
There is no indication at this stage as to when the national legislation will be amended so allowing for the issuing of additional licenses.
Article published from Metro Minutes by Patrick Cull”.