Online gambling in South Africa is currently illegal across the country, due to a Pretoria High Court ruling back in 2010. But now, things look as though South Africa might be having a change of heart and browsing at other means to regulate online gambling, following the failed court ruling, South Africa gambling news reports.
The current South African gambling laws, prohibit any form of online gambling, whether the operators are based inside the African country, or even if they have their bases overseas. This has not stopped people from gambling however, not in the slightest, and one professor at the University of Johannesburg thinks he knows how the solve the equation.
A research professor in the Academy of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Professor Basie von Solms, believes that the solution isn’t to forbid all online casinos in South Africa, but to hand licenses out to a few select few. These four or five casinos would then have to operate under the strictest legal rules, thereby offering to regulate the industry, and hopefully lessen the attraction and lure of illegal websites.
Professor von Solms recently told a committee on online gambling that: “we should license four or five people under very strict compliance methods and we should, through marketing, make it very clear that, if you go through these licensed people, you will be covered by the gambling board or whatever agency that will be dealing with this. You tell consumers ‘we will support you’, but if you go the illegal route, you will lose your money and you are on your own.”
Professor von Solms has on a number of occasions pointed out the failure behind the Pretoria law of 2010 banning online casinos in South Africa. He feels as though that there will be always a way round the blocking of sites. With gamblers living in a very digital age, when mobile gambling on the rise, he feels as though targeting how the gamers access the sites is useless. Instead he feels that with a few licensed online casinos in operation in South Africa, this would effectively cut down those illegal visits.
It is rumored that many South Africans feel similarly to Professor von Solms, in that online gambling is not something that can be regulated at the moment, and that issuing strict government controlled licenses could aid the issue. The departments of trade, industry and communications all feel as though ploughing on with the current law, would be fruitless.
South Africa will hardly find itself alone in this at the present state. Many countries are adapting new online gambling policies to deal with an ever changing market and times. Professor von Solms would like to see South Africa follow the Italian model of internet betting, which allows advertising and safety warnings to those licensed casinos it permits operation to in the country, though there are also several other successful models South Africa is currently looking at.