|After years of research and weeks of intensive special hearings, regulation of online gambling in South Africa has moved forward this week following Parliamentary approval of the National Gambling Amendment Bill.|
The Bill was introduced by the African nation’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and legalises Internet gambling by creating legislation for the licensing of interactive gambling operators.
In terms of the proposed legislation, software vendors providing online gambling platforms will be required to obtain a national license for key staff as well as for the interactive software itself. In addition, licenses will be needed for related equipment along with the suppliers and maintenance providers of that equipment. Probity and technical checks will be a prominent feature of the process, thoroughly investigating each applicant for licensing.
The goal of the Bill is to protect players, ensure gambling revenue reaches the national treasury, retain interactive gambling players in South Africa and prevent underage or problem gambling.
The next step in the Bill becoming law will be for it to be accepted by the National Council of Provinces, which may have to hold another round of public hearings before this can be achieved.
Once the Bill is universally accepted, it will be referred to South Africa’s President, Thabo Mbeki, for dissemination after which it will be gazetted into law.
The taxation issue, which existing land operators are concerned should ensure a level playing field, has yet to be finalised.