4/6/2001 (Daily Mail and Guardian) On the first working day after the Mail & Guardian exposed a secret deal to protect illegal casinos last week, a series of police raids closed the establishments.
The secret deal, struck between the police and illegal casinos, was supposed to be just that – secret. For nearly two years it protected a small number of illegal casino operations.
The deal was struck by a Durban attorney who had brought a civil case against the minister of safety and security and the premier of KwaZulu-Natal. He was attempting to use legal loopholes to attempt to get his clients’ casinos declared legal.
Last week, after the M&G; made the agreement public, legal casino owners and the provincial gambling board expressed outrage.
Head of the provincial Gambling Board Alan Dorasamy said he felt the deal was illegal and vowed it would be set aside. He said he believed it was very serious that the deal was supposed to be secret and that even he was not aware of it.
Rob Bolton, general manager of the licensed Sugar Mill Casino, said he felt the deal “made a mockery of the system”. Bolton has paid R43-million to the provincial government to operate his legal casino.
Another legal casino, operating in Newcastle and run by Vivian Reddy, has paid R8-million in exclusivity fees to the province.