In headline news that has South Africa all abuzz, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is making a strong argument for online gambling in South Africa. More to the point, spokespersons from the DA are coming on strong in their opposition to the current positions on legalizing online gambling throughout the country.
DA supporters are quick to point to the estimated R$211Million that is being siphoned away by so called illegal offshore online casino operators. As the DA puts it, the current focus is aimed at the wrong end of the problem. Instead of trying to police its residents or worse attempting to regulate offshore online gambling companies the better choice is to go ahead and legalize it.
If nothing else, all that the members of Parliament need do is to poke their heads up from their desks and take a good look around at what’s happening all over the world. Other countries have already proved that legalized online gambling can and does work.
For the record keep in mind that there is a bill sitting in Parliament waiting to be heard and debated. Dubbed the Remote Gambling Bill, this version is purported to address all previous concerns that were voiced in previous legislative sessions. What’s new this time around is that the Democratic Alliance is being fairly vocal about the benefits of legalization.
Yet for all of the support voiced by the DA and others throughout South Africa, keep in mind there is strong opposition to the legalization of online gambling. Recall that none other than the Department of Trade And Industry (DTI) is also being vocal about the many reasons online gambling should not be allowed.
In fact, the DTI was recently quoted as saying “…online gambling was not desirable”. The DTI went on to state in no uncertain terms that there was no intention whatsoever to support the Remote Gambling Bill.
So on one hand you have a growing list of proponents of online gambling spearheaded by leaders from the Democratic Alliance. At the same time, there are entrenched members of government (the Department of Trade and Industry officials for one) who are staunchly opposed to any such action.
At the end of the day you can’t help but wonder what is really going on behind closed doors. Seriously, there is a growing interest in online gambling from South Africans, online casinos are becoming more widely accepted around the world and the state coffers could certainly use a revenue boost. Why then is there such strong opposition to the legalization of online gambling?