DA welcomes special Finance portfolio committee meeting on KZN electronic bingo licences

Francois Rodgers, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the convening of a special Finance portfolio committee meeting, to be held on Wednesday this week, to discuss the proposed issuing of electronic bingo licences at shopping malls across the province.

The meeting is a result of a letter I wrote to portfolio committee chairperson KK Nkosi highlighting the following concerns;

–          The process followed in terms of regulations and the Gaming and Betting Act relating to the issue of electronic bingo licences and the public process followed

–          The issuing of Bingo hall licenses in 2010, their location and how these relate to mall applications.  Twenty-two licences were originally issued, yet only 11 remain in operation

–          Whether any research has been undertaken by the Board into public appetite for this form of gaming

–          The definition of an “electronic betting terminal” (EBT) as opposed to the definition of Bingo as per the Act.

Recent media reports also raise serious questions around the functionality of the Gaming and Betting Board itself, with claims that certain members are currently under investigation by the Public Protector for alleged maladministration and corruption.  The DA would like to know what the terms of reference are in this regard.

Equally alarming is that Board chairperson, Mrs Zulu, was quoted in the media as saying that she is in fact not the chairperson.

Clearly there are more questions than answers.

The DA trusts that the special portfolio meeting on Wednesday will address the “grey” areas around what has now become an emotional and volatile matter.

It is imperative that a lasting and acceptable solution is found to this issue.