South Africa Completely Bans Online Gambling

Many countries already have legalized online gambling, but most of them don’t like having offshore operators offering the same products and services to their residents. This is mainly because most of these operators affect their revenues that come from licensing and taxation. Unfortunately, the internet has opened the gates for these international operators and made them accessible to the public. In some countries, residents can freely get into these sites without being caught or punished. Google says that in the year 2000, the number was only about 361 million but now it has reached 21 billion which makes it much more alarming. With this, the government, in some countries, takes drastic steps in order to determine if accepting online gambling into the jurisdiction will benefit them even if it means spending a lot of their financial and political resources.

South Africa is one of those countries that did not believe online gambling could do any good for their people. The government decided that all online gambling activities including online blackjack will be banned. The only exception is horse racing as they define it as a sport as stated in the Gambling Act of 1965. Since 1673, South Africa has been very strict when it comes to gambling.  But with the introduction of the National Gambling Act of 1996, the gambling scene had changed. There was a standard set up for all gambling operations within the jurisdiction. There had been regulatory norms applicable to all sorts of gambling activities and their promotions.

The Act stipulated the creation of the National Gambling Board being the regulatory body. It also provided 40 gambling licenses to qualified operators and approved some gambling options. The law allowed the establishment of land based casinos and their legal operations including the national lottery and other casino games. However, the 1996 Act was repealed with the 2000 Act and followed by the National Gambling Amendment act of 2004 but was not enforced right away. But in August 20, 2010, all online gambling offered by offshore operators was banned in the country. The worst part was that even gambling online had become illegal. Pro-online gambling organizations like the South Africa’s Democratic Alliance voiced their stand against the complete ban of the activities and suggested to have it regulated instead.

Leave a Reply