Here is the latest and greatest on the South Africa online gambling front. As you probably know, back in 2008, the widely criticized National Gambling Act was enacted into law. This legislation effectively outlawed online gambling of any form. The one exception that snuck its way into the legislation was sports betting. At the time of the legislation, sports betting was seen as too small an activity to even bother about.
However, little did the legislators realize that enterprising entrepreneurs would use that little loophole for all it was worth. One result has been the incredible growth of sports betting throughout South Africa.
Another consequence has been for offshore operators to set up operations offshore and cater to South Africans who choose to gamble online. The 2008 legislation does not target the ordinary citizen but only penalizes the online gambling operator who provides the online casino.
All that may be about to become irrelevant if South African MP-Geordin Hill Lewis has his way. Lewis just introduced a new bill into South Africa’s parliament that aims for nothing less than the complete repeal of the 2008 National Gambling Act along with the full legalization of online gambling within South Africa.
Many supporters of this new bill are quick to make the case that this new legislation is long overdue, that South Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world in the push to legalize online gambling. In fact, some are even saying that South Africa has already fallen behind international standards and needs to take a step forward.
Not surprisingly, the bill being introduced is modeled on similar legislation found in Australia and various countries throughout Europe. That is to say that the licensing of online gambling operators will be overseen (supervised) by both national and provincial governments. Interested online gambling applicants would apply to one of the ten provinces to start the process. Also, even existing land based casinos such as Krugerbets and Sportingbet need to apply for an online gambling license. At this stage of the game (pun intended), it is not clear if existing gambling license holders will get a faster or easier approval.
However it works out, at this point it is still only a bill. Until Parliament makes a clear decision, many South African online casino fans will be anxiously awaiting the outcome.