SA gambling laws under review
By Paul
Internet gambling will be examined as part of South Africa’s review of gambling laws, Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said last Thursday. 'We now face the fluidity of Internet gambling,” Erwin said.

'We are of the view that a well-regulated and reputable environment is the objective, rather than attempts to prohibit or allow a free for all.'

Speaking at the second South African gambling conference in Sun City, he said there was a need to review gambling policy in light of the fast changing market environment. 'We are in the process of completing this and intend to make certain amendments, which will create greater uniformity in action and policy.' Erwin said.

Provinces would still have responsibility for direct control, but within more uniform regulations. Erwin said the aim of the review was to clarify the roles of the various gambling boards and to place policy formulation within the remit of the national government.

The minister said the differences in surveillance and monitoring in the provinces, and the movement of funds and activities could result in evasion: 'A regulatory system that can not ensure compliance is not worth much. It is our view that the capacity for monitoring, surveillance and enforcement has to be national as well as provincial.'

Erwin said concerns that gambling had resulted in a shift in spending away from necessary consumer goods and other basic necessities seemed misplaced.

Research had shown that money used for gambling was being transferred from other entertainment rather than basic necessities. 'The patterns of expenditure in a modern economy will vary continually and this is not a factor that we need to take into account.'

'What we will have to observe is the specific patterns of expenditure in regard to problem gambling and in adjacent communities.'

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