|Proposed legislation on online gambling has been met with opposition in the South African parliament, with calls for the bill to be completely scrapped because the government has not thought it through fully.|
The bill is intended to decriminalise and regulate interactive, or online, gambling. Casino Association of SA (Casa) chairman Jabu Mabuza told the trade and industry committee there had not been enough consultation on the 'woefully insufficiently researched' bill, which was being pushed hastily through Parliament.
Concern was expressed about the proposal to limit the number of interactive gaming operators. This could exclude operators from other countries and so contravene international treaties, the committee was told.
Submissions to the committee were also made by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), which was concerned that interactive gambling could facilitate money laundering.
Mabuza highlighted a lack of tax proposals. 'Whatever happens in the industry turns on the level of taxation, which has to be fair and equitable,' Mabuza said. 'There has to be a level playing field.'
Another concern was that interactive gambling operators should be subject to the same stringent requirements as other operators, for example, on black economic empowerment and prohibitions on underage gambling.