South Africa set to consider online gambling legalisation

27 January 2014

A new bill that would legalise online gambling in South Africa is to be considered by the country’s parliament.

The new bill aims to repeal the 2008 National Gambling Act that only allows for online wagering to take place on sports events.

Proposed by MP Geordin Hill-Lewis, the new bill would look to include internet casino gambling in addition to the already regulated sportsbetting options.

Lawmakers in South Africa have been under pressure from commercial interests that are against the proliferation of unregulated gaming sites, with consumer protection and taxation also cited as reasons to consider legalising online gambling.

The new bill would be similar to those currently in place in Australia and Europe, which allow licensing to be overseen by national and provincial governments.

Applicants for online gambling licences would apply through one of South Africa’s 10 provinces, while existing game licence-holders in the country would be required to re-apply for permission to operate online via a remote gambling license. Categories of licence-holders would also be established.

Proposal calls for taxation would be determined by each individual province, while standards and levels would be established to help eliminate provincial competition.

Following its introduction into parliament, establishing standards could take up to another six months, while it is estimated that the licence issuing process could take a further 18 months.

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