oa Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - The introduction of a gambling tax in South Africa - what are the odds on the implementation thereof?

Volume 7 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1995-7076



The South African Revenue Service has been exploring the possibility of implementing a form of taxation on gambling winnings since the Minister of Finance's Budget Speech in 2010. On a superficial level it seems a logical mechanism for broadening the tax base - a case of increasing the tax collected from those who can afford the luxury of gambling. There are, however, a number of unintended consequences that government does not seem to have considered. As a result, this article uses a detailed content analysis of the prior academic and professional tax literature to explore possible weaknesses/flaws of a tax on gambling winnings in South Africa. These include the administrative burden of such a tax, certain economic consequences of allowing gambling losses as a tax deduction and the possible social consequences thereof. These findings mean that the article provides a meaningful contribution by critically assessing the proposed tax with the aim of informing policy development and future quantitative studies on a tax on gambling winnings.

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