Province rakes in R591m from gambling taxes
Annual report indicates casino and horse-racing figure 18.7% more than expected
CASINO and horse racing taxes have added R591 million to the province’s coffers, even though a tougher economic climate was expected to drive down gambling activity in the province.
The provincial treasury and Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board presented its annual report in the Legislature yesterday.
According to the report, the taxes received from gambling and horse racing were 18.7% more than expected.
The original target for taxes from gambling was R498m. Casino taxes brought in R537m, while horse racing brought in R53m.
The amendments to the costs and fees regulations were in line with annual inflation to all new licence applications.
Chairperson of the gambling board David Lakay said for the past financial year the board had processed 8 354 licence applications, conducted 1 227 assessments at licence holders and deliberated 12 disputes.
Lakay also said the board initiated several responsible gambling engagements. “This was done with the licence holders on their own responsible gambling initiatives, practices and preventative measures. We have also assisted punters, who either identified themselves or were identified by the industry as potential problem gamblers.”
He said there were 49 cases of illegal gambling. “Eighteen of these cases were positive cases, resulting in the arrest of the alleged guilty persons and the confiscation of devices. There were 31 investigations which had negative results. Going forward there will be a different approach adopted by the board, which will effectively reduce the number of investigations where the results are likely to be negative.”
Finance MEC Ivan Meyer said there were successes, despite an economic environment that was increasingly volatile. “The economy is characterised by uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The department has successfully delivered its undertaking to adopt an integrated work plan for provincial and municipal planning, budgeting and governance and improve the integration of budget planning and procurement.”
Meyer emphasised the need for fiscal discipline across the government. “Fiscal consolidation demands behavioural change from all actors in the financial governance pipeline. Our objective is to ensure our efforts contribute in the creation of public value.”
Provincial treasury accounting officer Zakariya Hoosain said there was no fruitless or wasteful expenditure, but there were challenges within the supply chain management sector.
“Supply chain management is not purely about purchasing supplies anymore, but is strategic sourcing which requires good product knowledge, research on commodities, pricing and an ability to negotiate with service providers to achieve good value for money. The insufficient capacity will be addressed via an alignment of the current structure to the generic supply chain management structure for chief financial officers as determined by National Treasury. In addition, tools will be used to identify individual competencies and training needs for development purposes.”
Meanwhile, Premier Helen Zille said that at the core of the government’s brand lied good financial governance. “The quality of our audits confirms the high standard of financial management within the Western Cape public sector. We thank our officials at every level for their outstanding commitment to integrity and service delivery.”
The original target for taxes from gambling was R498m. Casino taxes brought in R537m, while horse racing brought in R53m