|Legislation introducing a series of legislative changes that could see South Africa’s online gambling industry subject to regulatory measures such as the monitoring of player treatment has run into opposition from some members of Parliament.|
The National Gambling Amendment Act came under fire in Cape Town yesterday as Fungai Sibanda, the acting Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), introduced it to the Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee.
The protesting members were led by Ben Turok of the African National Congress (ANC) Party and complained that the only reason to legislate Internet gambling should be in order to abolish it or, at least, curb it.
Turok likened taxing online gambling to making money out of prostitution and stated that the legislation is not sufficiently critical of gambling.
'This is a moral issue,” said Turok.
'In my view, [Sibanda’s] approach is the wrong one. [Gambling] is a social evil that we may have to regulate to curb but we must not make money out of it. When you have a relative evil in society, either we legislate to prohibit it or to curb it. You don't legislate to encourage it.'
Turok's view was echoed by other members of the governing ANC Party including Solomon Rasmeni from the North West province who told Members that he would only support the new Bill if it is was a step ‘towards doing away with this unacceptable activity’. He said that he wanted to see gambling, whether on the Internet or in a land-based casino, done away with entirely.
'It eats the moral fibre of society,' said Rasmeni.