The North West Gambling Board recently held a responsible campaign at Meriting High School, in Rustenburg in the Bojanala Platinum District municipality in the North West Province. The primary objective of the initiative is aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of underage and illegal gambling activities. More often than not young people are lured into underage gambling activities and end up being used as drug traffickers.

Illegal gambling continues to be a cause for concern in the Bojanala Platinum District particularly Rustenburg, where in the recent past it was identified as one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent. This as a result of a sprawling economy amplified by huge mineral deposits found in the area. This has had spill over effects in the gambling industry.

The mushrooming of illegal gambling sites which masquerades as internet cafés and entertainment sites continues to rob the province of much needed income through taxes and levies. Gambling Control Manager Mr Simon Mogapi maintains, that the Board is working hand in glove with the country’s law enforcement agencies to nip illegal gambling operations in the bud.

“Our efforts are yielding desired results and we have on a number of occasions successfully managed to shutdown these operations as well as confiscating their machines”.

Chief Executive Officer for the Board Mr Nathan Oliphant says imparting knowledge to various sectors of the society about the ramifications of underage and illegal gambling activities is of paramount importance.

“We are duty bound as the Board to engage with our communities about the business of the Board but critically to caution them about the dangers of underage and illegal gambling activities and this has a bearing on the psychological being of the young people particularly learners. We want to encourage our communities to seek counselling on these matters. They also need to help us fight this scourge by reporting these sites to the police” Mr Oliphant said.

Learners insist the information shared with them will go a long way in serving as a deterrence particularly on matters pertaining to underage and illegal gambling activities.