South Africa Online Gambling: Nearly Legal

Written by Michael F. on 2010-02-12 at 14:44
South African Gambling Laws - GamingZion
In July of 2008, the South African president approved the National Gambling Amendment Bill which will eventually legalize internet gambling in the country. The implementation of the bill has been moving much slower than anticipated, and as of February 2010, online gambling in South Africa  is still illegal. Part of the delay is actually due to a request made by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, which wanted the process slowed so they could take their time carefully reviewing proposed legislation. 

At present, the Committee is still working on ironing out the details of how legal internet gambling in South Africa will work. The current lack of regulation is seeing more and more illegal gambling sites popping up across the country, which is extremely problematic for players since a 2006 court ruling allows the Gambling Board to issue severe fines, or even jailtime, for players who utilize the illegal sites. Fortunately players know this, so they simply play at foreign-hosted sites instead.

The National Gambling Amendment Bill has a number of different goals. By creating tight regulation for locally-hosted internet gaming sites, the government hopes to be able to maintain a grasp on local online gambling, while at the same time reducing offshore control over the internet gambling industry. 

While players are understandably anxious, the government is not rushing things. The Gambling Review Commission is expected to present their final report to trade and industry minister Rob Davies by mid-year. After this, the changes must still pass through both houses of Parliament, then receive final approval from president Jacob Zuma. 

Site operators are also ready for the government to hurry up and get the ball rolling. Nomfundo Maseti, the Department of Trade and Industry's chief director of policy and legislation, says that several operators have already applied for licenses, noting “They can't wait forever.”

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