An industry committee was told that opening the door to online gambling in South Africa could lead to a host of other illegal activities and would be very difficult to police, according to rumors in South Africa gambling news this week.
At present, the South African gambling laws enforce a total ban on wagering and prohibit any online casino, poker and internet betting sites from being used by gamers in the country. Sports betting is also illegal, whether the site visited is South African in origin, or not. One of the reasons for this complete ban stems from the fear that online gambling can lead to money-laundering and under-age or illegal gambling.
The Gambling Review Commission hasn’t given up hope on the matter though, and they are recommending legislation be made for a monitored, policed, cut-down version of online gambling. Geordin Hill-Lewis, a Democratic Alliance MP and industry committee chairman Joan Fubbs seemed to be agreement with the commission’s review.
Mr. Hill-Lewis commented that “online gambling is a fact in SA. Prohibition is impossible and at the moment it is taking place in a completely unregulated environment and we are deriving no economic benefit from it.”
It it a well reported fact that people from across the country do frequent the online gambling sites in South Africa, and that despite the ban, most go relatively unpunished. The Financial Intelligence Centre though, feels as though they should be the ones to control the regulatory measures, or failing that, that online gambling in South Africa should remain prohibited.
Pieter Smit speaking for the Financial Intelligence Centre feels as though with legalized online gambling, gamers would be able to transfer money to one another, similar to money-laundering and that it would be untraceable. He also rumored to have claimed that financing terrorism was also a realistic vulnerability of such a move, though there has never been any proof of this.
In response, the National Gambling Board has advised that only a small number of online casino should receive licenses, and even then under the strictest conditions. They too feel as though continuing to prohibit gambling is failing, with illegal gamers continuing to found ways round the system.
South Africa had considered blocking access to all the illegal sites, but this was reportedly too expensive to be a success, and instead they seek to form agreements with other countries on banning South African players. South African banks are also rumoured to be against the move as they cannot verify legal and illegal transactions at the current time.