South Africa Closer to Online Gambling Regulation

Published Tuesday, April 14, 2009 -

South African virtual casinos are currently taking advantage of a regulatory void, allowing offshore gambling sites to gain momentum. These operators will soon have some difficulties as the introduction of South Africa's online gambling regulations make a step closer to reality. Under the new proposed rules and regulations any operator that works illegally will not be allowed to apply for a licence. Neither would it be permitted to advertise its services.
The National Gambling Board and the land based gaming industry are upset with the scene as it stands today.They say that the offshore activity is creating an environment that is hard to compete with.

Acting CEO of the National Gambling Board, Thebi Moja says the board and various law enforcement bodies are trying to put a stop to certain internet casino operations. "They know very well that they operating illegally and we have for a number of years attempted to put a stop to their activities," "If we are able to prevent them from operating in SA that would be a big victory."

Authorities admit online gaming is notoriously difficult to control and while South Africa has wrestled over the past few years with the contentious issue of regulation, many of South Africa's gambling operators have had sit back and watch as some operators have forged ahead with their internet gaming business.

The National Gambling Board, is feeling positive that the regulations will be approved in a few months stating, "provided that public comments do not result in significant changes to regulations. If there are major changes, it will have to be republished for public comment".

Once the regulations are in place, the National Gambling Board proposes issuing 10 online licences to South African operators. Many local gaming operators are ready to get involved in online gambling. There are loads of websites based offshore and available to South Africans, so the NGB faces the huge challenge of how to regulate foreign operators and how to make local operations competitive with those in less regulated and lower taxed regions. It is agreed by many gambling entrepreneurs in South Africa that there is large potential there as the internet continues to expand its reach in the country.

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