Online Gambling in South Africa Looks UnlikelyPublished November 26, 2014 by Vlad G
Not a good idea to bet on online gambling in South Africa for now.
The odds for online gambling becoming legal in South Africa in the foreseeable future are not very good. Due to the resistance shown by the government in the country and the difficulty for operators to get licenses to offer their products in the market, industry experts believe that internet gambling will not be coming to South Africa anytime soon.
Arguments against Online Gambling
According to the gambling industry leader in South Africa, Nikki Forster, the government has recently expressed concerns regarding problem gambling in the country and the fact that making it available on the internet would only make this issue more significant. Despite the fact that there have been efforts to legalize online gambling for over a decade, the government does not believe that it will create jobs and that the benefits will outweigh the risks.
Forster also added that the trade and industry representatives do not support online gambling and that this will likely result in it remaining illegal for quite some time.
Strong Demand in South Africa
Although the government is unwilling to issue licenses to reputable online gambling operators, the demand in the country is certainly there. The trend shown by the regulators is opposite to those shown in other parts of the world.
Forster argued that more and more countries are looking into relaxing some of their restrictions and allow online gambling to take place. UK would be the best example due to its size and the fact that internet gaming is much bigger than land-based casinos.
Looser restrictions have even been introduced in the US, a market in which internet gambling has been strongly opposed over the years. Now, several states allow online casinos and online poker rooms to operate within their borders with great success.
There is also the subject of money and South Africa would see a great increase in revenue if it would legalize and regulate online gambling, with its land-based market already being worth R21.8 billion/year and growing.