|Victor Chandler, the man behind one of Britain’s largest betting and gaming operators, has announced that he intends targeting South African online gamblers in the very near future. |
According to South African publication Business Report, Chandler’s move is only the first in a wave that could soon see gambling operators from around Europe establishing operations as the nation’s gambling laws are liberalised. Under current National Gambling Act legislation, online gamblers in South Africa can be fined up to $1.3 million or jailed for a decade but this could be about to change with the imminent passage of the National Gambling Amendment Bill. This legislation is now before the National Council of Provinces after having already been approved by the National Assembly in Cape Town.
Headquartered in Gibraltar, Chandler’s company operates an online sportsbook, poker rooms and a casino. He stated that the gambling market in South Africa had great potential due its rapidly growing middle-class and the rising use of the Internet in sports, gaming and casinos.
Business Report speculated that the expenditure associated with setting up operations in South Africa would be between $400,000 and $600,000 with marketing costs dependent on the size of the operation. This would also be the case for the number of employees, which would depend on whether operations were online or over the telephone.
The Bloomberg news service also reported that Vienna’s Bwin Interactive Entertainment has plans to set up a sportsbetting operation in South Africa along with Spain and the Ukraine. Bwin is Europe's biggest sporting and gaming operator and the news agency cited a piece in Austria's Wirtchaftsblatt newspaper, although it did not make its sources public.
'I would not like to comment,' said Kevin O’Neil, Spokesperson for Bwin.
'We like to keep things under wraps until we are ready, for competition reasons.'