If passed, bill would transform gambling in the country
A legislator is introducing a bill that would legalize internet gambling in South Africa. According to the 2008 National Gambling Act sports betting is the only legal form of online wagering. If passed, the new law would allow providers to offer casino games as well.
MP Geordin Hill-Lewis, a member of the Democratic Alliance Party, has stated his intention to introduce the bill within the next few months. As Hill-Lewis is part of the minority opposition the bill’s passage appears unlikely, but it would represent a major liberalization of South African gambling laws.
Market would still be regulated
Legalizing online casino gambling would be a huge step for the country. However, proponents of the bill still envision a regulated and taxed licensing system. Online operators would need to apply for separate licenses in each of South Africa’s 10 provinces. Hill-Lewis also proposed that each province could determine their own tax rate on gambling services.
Most past cases show that this kind of balkanization is not good for a gambling market. A confused set of regional regulations harms efficiency and allows firms to create local monopolies. But, at least it would give gamblers more legal options than they currently have, which are zero. Passage looks slim, but if the bill makes it through it would be a positive step for gambling in the country.