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South African Parliaments Accepts New Gambling Legislation

South African Gambling

The newly streamlined gambling legislation has been accepted by the South African parliament, which paves the way for a swifter regulation. In doing so, the legislators have left some of the most disruptive gambling decisions in the future.

On Wednesday, the parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry announced that it had adopted the National Gambling Amendment Act 2018. The act, however, has only been adopted after narrowing down its scope to three issues. This helped in the swift passage of the act in the parliament.

Joanmarie Fubbs, the committee chairperson, said that the legislators didn’t opt for the comprehensive version of the act proposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) earlier this year. Their focus has been to sort three technical issues to help in addressing existing governance challenges more effectively.

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The three issues that Fubbs talked about are, improving the governance at the National Gambling Policy Council, transferring regulatory oversight from the National Gambling Board to the newly created National Gambling Regulator and helping broaden the National Central Electronic Monitoring System. With a wider scope, the system will monitor all modes of gambling activity in the country and provide more accurate market data which could be used to determine the right taxation levels.

Fubbs also noted that the committee purged numerous serious issues from the final Act document which included regulations for online bingo terminals, betting on lottery results and banning dog racing. It also included a provision for cracking down on payments for online gambling.

The time available could not have allowed proper interrogation on these matters, said the committee chair. However, these issues will eventually come back and will be considered. However, the adoption of the revised Act right now “will pave the way for more comprehensive and holistic amendments to the gambling regulatory framework.”

Online sports betting and race betting is currently permitted in the South African market. International operators who do not hold local licenses are also subjected to harsh punishments in the country. The government also plans to confiscate the winnings of local residents who engage with these unlicensed sites.

Some legislators are in favor of modern legislation that allows a wider variety of online gambling products to operate in the South African markets, but none of such efforts have seen any momentum. The brick and mortar casino sector isn’t letting the online gambling sector flourish in the country.