S. Africa to Welcome Online GamblingPublished March 17, 2008 by OCR Editor
Online gambling is currently illegal in South Africa, but this may change soon. The bill to legalize casinos moves through the channels.
A bill to regulate online gambling in South Africa has advanced last week and seems headed to approval. South Africans may very well be able to gamble online one day soon.
The current law - the National Gambling Act, Act 7 of 2004 - forbids any such activity. South Africans are not allowed to play casino games or bet online, even if the website operator is located outside the country. As for licenses to operate within South Africa, none such were ever granted.
In fact, gamblers face prison sentence and massive fines for gambling. Of course the current legal state also means that players have no protection from corrupt websites. Licenses, which will follow legalization, will lead to independent and state protection agencies, said Themba Marasha, chief operations officer of the National Gambling Board.
The number of gamblers in South Africa is unknown. They bet at sites based outside the country. The most popular of them SilverSands, Piggs Peak and African Palace Casinos.
The legal state of gambling has a company challenging the ban on gambling in court, which in itself may have motivated the reform that seems upon us.
Now that the Bill passed to the Select Committee of National Provinces, before moving on to the National Assembly for final approval, a change may indeed come. Online gambling sites will be allowed to freely operate (although under restrictions and regulations) and advertise their products.
Internet gambling operators will simply have to meet the requirements of South African national technical standards.