Online Gambling Changes Possible in South Africa

Published Sunday, January 26, 2014 -
Online Gambling Changes Possible in South Africa

South Africa has been beating around the bush for some time when it comes to legislating online gambling regulations in that country. The passage of the 2008 National Gambling Act allows for sports betting over the internet but now one of the country’s parliamentarians is preparing to introduce a bill that may change that.

MP Geordin Hill-Lewis is one of the youngest people to gain a seat in the South African parliament and is the shadow minister of trade and industry for the opposition Democratic Alliance party. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies who is part of the ruling African National Congress party announced plans to set up a national gaming regulator to oversee issues including online gambling just last August but as yet nothing has happened.

The bill being proposed by MP Hill-Lewis will require online operators to apply for separate licenses in each of South Africa’s 10 provinces. Certain aspects of the bill coincide with the regulations in Australia where each territory and its authorities will be responsible for licensing and regulatory platform while there will still be a national authority that keeps the regulations all on the same regulatory page. Rules that would apply across all territories would include no gambling on credit as an example.

Punters are hoping the bill gets through the legislative process which is by no means a sure thing. If by chance the legislation actually becomes law, the government will require at least six months in which to create regulatory standards. The time line for the possible launch of online gambling other than sports betting in South Africa could be anywhere from less than 12 months to 18 months.

However the way changes to the legislation on online gambling have progressed thus far in South Africa it may be a lot longer than predicted.

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