|The Parliament of South Africa has approved new legislation regulating online gambling in Africa’s largest economy although the nation’s President, Thabo Mbeki, must still sign the measures before becoming law.|
The National Gambling Amendment Bill aims to address the negative socio-economic effects associated with gambling and deals specifically with issues of problem gambling, player protection, licensing, taxation and advertising.
Under its proposals, all online players would need to be registered with a licensed interactive gambling provider and submit an affidavit ensuring that they are older than 18. The Bill also allows for the establishment of an electronic monitoring system to help root out potentially addictive behaviour and restrict credit extensions to players.
A memorandum attached to the Bill stated that Internet gambling industry was currently unregulated in South Africa and ‘generally plagued’ by crime. The Government stated that these new measures would regulate the industry, which is vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing.
'This situation has resulted in a considerable loss of revenue to the national fiscus and compromises the country's reputation as a responsible global citizen,' read the memorandum.
'The purpose of this act is to ensure that all gambling activities are conducted responsibly, fairly and honestly and to protect minors and other vulnerable persons from the negative effects of gambling,' the Bill read.
According to South Africa's National Gambling Board, which will enforce the new measures, revenues from all forms of non-Internet gambling in the nation increased to $1.8 billion last year, up from $811 million in 2001/2002.