South Africa’s Casino Industry To Get More Stringent Gambling Laws
The South African Ministry of Trade and Industry has officially tabled amendments to the country’s main gambling legislation designed to introduce stringent regulations and protocols. Among proposals included in the National Gambling Amendment Bill are several changes to the current gambling structures in South Africa, establishing a National Lotteries Commission, and tougher gambling promotion and advertising regulations. The Amendment Bill will also see current rules being strengthened.
The proposed National Gambling Amendment Bill will impose stringent regulations on the growing casino market in South Africa. Some of the biggest reforms include the regulation of national and foreign lottery bets, lottery results and sports pools will be transferred to a ‘National Lotteries Commission’; horse racing industry will have its own regulating body; the National Gambling Board will be repositioned to be a “National Gambling Regulator” and dog racing and dog racing bets will be prohibited nationwide.
The proposed changes will also see changes to the regulations of casinos, electronic bingo forms and licenses; stricter gambling advertising rules will be imposed; restrictions will also be put in place on gambling premises and hidden and separate entrances for gambling areas that are inside shopping malls, complexes, arcades and other public places will no longer be allowed. There will also be restrictions imposed on automated teller locations.
Black economic power will get special attention as provisions will be made relating to the award of licenses in the gambling industry and all illegal winnings will be surrendered to the National Gambling Regulator.
Proposed Reforms to Impact Online Gambling
The Amendment Bill has been a work in progress over the past two years and aims to implement stricter protocols and revise current regulations in the country’s main gambling legislation. Though the proposed amendments will affect the land gambling sector, the new changes will also hugely impact online casinos and betting pools as well as informal gambling sites.
With the exception of horse racing, sports betting and various lotteries, current legislation prohibits online gambling in South Africa which means there are no SA-based online casino, bingo or poker sites. Proposed amendments aiming to legalize and regulate interactive gambling in the country were never passed into law. As a result, some residents who want to gamble online are forced to transact with offshore operators which is illegal under existing gambling laws in the country.