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Mid 2016 Online Gambling Regulation Update


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April 2016 was the month when the South African government took a blow at online gambling and hopes that players will be able to freely gamble online and do what they want with their money. Something happened and the gambling regulation took a wrong turn despite everything seeming so hopeful prior to this update. Online gambling portals dedicated to providing useful information to players like will now have trouble doing that thanks to this update, except those that offer info for legit sports betting sites.

What the Department of Trade did with its final version of South Africa’s National Gambling Policy for 2016 was declare that any new form of gambling at this point will be forbidden. With this all glimmers of hope that the online gambling market will be liberalised in 2016 have been crushed.

According to the government if legalised online gambling will not produce significant jobs in comparison with land casinos because it is not inherently labour intensive. Furthermore, the government says that this way they will protect the jobs created by the land casino industry through eliminating unwarranted competition.

At this point only sports betting is allowed online, while online poker, online casino and other online forms of gambling are not allowed. This means that you better steer clear from anything that is not sports betting.

The government has expressed concerns that the country’s infrastructure is not able on taking more gambling activities in different forms. It maintains that the country has no capacity and resources to regulate online gambling at the moment. But, what it can do is streamline it to prevent illegal operations, thus the changes.

The changes include prohibiting internet service providers to allow access to illegal gambling sites which was achieved by amending the National Gambling Act. Moreover, banks are prohibited from processing payments of any kind that go in and out of online gambling sites. If such thing happens, the bank that processed the payment would be penalized. The fines and the confiscated winnings will be added into the Unlawful Winnings Trust, which is used to support the National Responsible Gambling program and the treatment of gamblers that suffer from addiction to gambling.

However, this doesn’t mean eliminating all hopes for future liberalisation and online gambling legalisation. What the government means is that it’s better to wait for a time when this can be done right instead of rushing into it unprepared and underequipped.

Date Posted: 2016-05-19
Posted By: GBN Online
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