South Africa Proposes Online Casino Gambling Bill

A controversial new bill that proposes to legalise online casino gambling in South Africa is awaiting consideration by the SA Parliament.

The bill that seeks to repeal the section of the 2008 National Gambling Act that prohibited all forms of online gambling except sports betting has been proposed by Geodin Hill-Lewis MP. If accepted and passed by a majority vote in the country's parliament, it will change that part of the law and make it legal to place real money bets at online casinos as well as other forms of Internet gambling.

Major Game Changer

The outcome is eagerly awaited by the country's people that want to gamble online but are currently restricted to only placing bets on sporting events via the Internet. If the bill gets through, it will be a major game changer for bettors looking for more exciting ways of enjoying their chosen pastime online and doing it legally at regulated sites that they can trust.

There will be provision for the national as well as the ten provincial governments to regulate the industry by issuing licenses to qualifying operators while being able to collect taxes from them. This will have a wide ranging impact on the industry that is currently awash with unlicensed and unregulated operators that are illegally taking money from eager punters and making huge profits while paying absolutely no taxes in the country.

New Operators

New operators will need to apply for a specific license from the relevant government (national and/or provincial) for which the necessary categories will be created. Existing gaming license holders will be required to re-apply if they intend to offer online casino gaming in addition to sports betting services.

Assuming the bill passes through government into the law books, it is expected that the establishment of standards would take up to six months to put into place. The licensing period could take a further eighteen months to complete.

The news has been well received by international gaming companies and there is certain to be a lot of interest turned toward the southern African state in the coming months. We could expect to see many well known brands lining up for a piece of the action in a market worth many millions of dollars.

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