South Africa to consider tougher gambling laws

24 July 2018

South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, has tabled a new bill that sets out harsher rules and regulations for gambling in the country.

The 49-page Amendment Bill features mooted changes to how gambling is both structured and regulated in South Africa.

Measures set out include the National Gambling Board being repositioned as the country’s gambling regulator.

The bill also includes plans for a National Lotteries Commission to assume the regulation of all wagers on the national lottery, foreign lottery, lottery results and sports pools.

South Africa is also keen to clamp down on illegal gambling with all unlawful winnings to be forfeited to the National Gambling Regulator.

Elsewhere, should the bill pass, dog racing and all bets on the sport would be prohibited in South Africa, while a self-regulating body would be recognised in the horse racing industry.

Casinos, limited pay-out machines and bingo would face tougher regulations, with plans to limit both the number of bingo licences and machines, as well as to regulate electronic bingo.

New restrictions could also be placed on gambling premises and the location of automated tellers, with plans to introduce ‘separate’ and ‘hidden’ entrances at general public places, such as arcades and shopping malls.

Other changes include imposing new restrictions on gambling advertising, as well as providing for broad-based black economic empowerment within the industry.

The new Amendment Bill represents the latest move by South Africa to clamp down on gambling in the country, with the bill having existed in various forms since 2016.

Jason Foster, the head of iGaming and African markets at Chalkline Sports, a marketing technology platform that supports customer acquisition and retention for regulated gaming, told iGamingBusiness.com in April that mobile was driving growth in the South African gambling market.

Consultants at PwC estimate that South African GGR will grow by 24% this year.

“Driving forces include increased smartphone penetration, improved awareness of sportsbook brands, increased mobile data availability and the ability to conveniently transact from a smartphone,” Foster said.