International edition
September 22, 2020

Except for sports betting

South Africa: online gambling activities remain outlawed

South Africa: online gambling activities remain outlawed
In early October, it emerged that South Africa’s National Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 was published on 17 September. At present, there is currently a 45-day period for the general public to comment on the legislation, with 15 November being the closing
South Africa | 10/13/2016

In early October, it emerged that South Africa’s National Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 was published on 17 September. At present, there is currently a 45-day period for the general public to comment on the legislation, with 15 November being the closing date.

U

ltimately, the bill could potentially draw heat in South Africa, as the government’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has resolutely refused to evolve the country’s online gambling industry. In fact, DTI even used its 3 October announcement to deliver a warning to the industry.

Fundamentally, all online gambling activities, except for sports betting, remain outlawed in South Africa. Rather than unlock new revenue streams and keep money in the country, the government has made a decision in making its rooted stance against online gambling. 

Geordin Hill-Lewis has been one politician advocating progressive change to the legislation, having encouraged its revival and calling for change, but that effort has been in vain.

South Africa Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies has been the figurehead for the nation’s anti-online gambling stance, with Davies afraid of any expansion beyond online sports betting. As a result, all other gambling activities are still considered illegal in South Africa.

However, this is unlikely to prevent the many South Africans who are registered with online gambling sites that are not based inside the country. But Davies has warned that any financial institutions attempting to process payments with such entities will be prohibited rom doing so.

Meanwhile, Davies seems to be acutely aware that some people will continue to access offshore gambling sites. To counter this, Davies has promised that the government will monitor their activities, saying that authorities will be unable to prevent people playing casino games, but that they can seize their winnings.

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