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Bingo Machines Not Welcome in South African Malls

The decision on the part of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal to allow electronic bingo and slot machines to be installed at various malls and other such public spots was obviously an economy-justified one. In SA gambling revenues constitute major contributions to the budgets of provincial governments but the above said decision was still met with disapproval and protests on several fronts.

One major opponent of the seemingly indiscriminate proliferation of live gambling in the country is the South African Indian community, which numbers around 1.4 million, mostly concentrated in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Representatives of the Indian community have been pushing back against the law that made the above-said decision possible, holding representations at the various hearings preceding it. During these representations, members of the community provided accounts of various gambling-related problems plaguing people, from gambling related-suicides to addiction-triggered family problems.

The Indian community wasn’t the only one to speak up against bingo machines in shopping malls. In fact, a plethora of political, religious and civic bodies joined the opposition, not to mention business interests, like the formal casino owners who have apparently invested quite a bit into educational programs to prevent problem gambling, as well as various mandatory security facilities, only to see their potential customer-base decimated by mall-based bingo machines, which provide no protection for minors and other vulnerable categories of potential gamblers, whatsoever.

According to the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu, legislation concerning the placement of electronic gambling machines in shopping malls shall be amended to make certain that the said bingo terminals will be kept away from areas children frequent and from disadvantaged communities. All that sounds great on paper, in practice though it may not be about keeping the machines away from these people, but rather about keeping the people away from the machines.



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Last Updated 23 July 2016
Bingo Machines not welcome in South African Malls