Controversy Still Surrounds South Africa's Online Gambling Laws

Published Thursday, June 07, 2012 -

There is only one legal form of online betting in South Africa and Intralot was awarded a licence to offer online sports betting throughout South Africa. The firm’s subsidiary, Intralot South Africa, obtained a fixed odds betting licence last January from the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board enabling them to offer Internet, telephone and mobile betting nationwide.

Intralot has just announced it’s has finally gone live. was cleared to offer fixed odds sports betting effective June 1st 2012. Intralot’s Managing Director of Africa Sub-Sahara region, Yannis Rondiris said would “satisfy all players’ needs and habits,” so long as none of those players need to play poker, slots and table games or make a peer-to-peer wager. It sounds a little like Henry Ford offering every colour of Model T as long it was black. As it stands there is a lot of controversy still surrounding South Africa’s policies on online betting.

The recent Gaming Regulators Africa Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, heard CEO of South Africa’s North West province Gambling Board and chairman of GRAF’s technical subcommittee on illegal gambling, Fortune Sekgaphane, tell attendees that South Africa’s “regrettable” approach to online gambling largely mirrored that of the United States, charging operators with crimes rather than instituting a regulatory framework that permits them to operate. Gambling Compliance, reported that Sekgaphane put forth the argument that legislation should be used as tool to aid states in collecting revenues, not as a club with which to punish operators. Acting otherwise was essentially “disadvantaging your people.”

Statements from Sekgaphane were not agreed with by the National Gambling and Liquor Policy Council, which met in Cape Town recently. It was reported that the council, passed a resolution calling for the development of a clear national strategy for ‘combating and eradicating’ international online gambling operators offering betting options not permitted by current South African law. New rules would give the South Africa’s National Gambling Board powers to rid the country of the illegally offered gambling.

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