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South Africa gaming bill labelled a ‘complete mess’

| By iGB Editorial Team
Garron Whitesman blasts 'flawed, unrealistic and nonsensical policies' in new gambling regulation bill

Cape Town-based gaming lawyer Garron Whitesman has hit out at South Africa’s latest Amendment Bill, blasting its “flawed, unrealistic and nonsensical policies”.

Unveiled last week, the 49-page bill includes a number proposed changes to how gambling is structured and regulated in the country.

Mooted changes include the National Gambling Board being repositioned as the country’s gambling regulator, with the National Lotteries Commission assuming responsibility for regulating wagers on the national lottery, foreign lottery, lottery results and sports pools.

Other proposed amendments include outlawing bets on dog racing, limiting the number of bingo licences and machines, and regulating electronic bingo.

The Amendment Bill has existed in various forms since 2016, but Whitesman (pictured) told iGamingBusiness.com that the latest version is a “complete mess”.

He said: “My view is the bill is a complete mess and is based on very flawed, unrealistic and nonsensical policies that have been devised by the Department of Trade and Industry.”

Whitesman also said while there is a “pretty good chance” the bill will become law, with further amendments possible, this could lead to operators taking legal action.

“The biggest impact is on those bookmakers offering secondary lottery and betting on the outcome of lotteries type bets,” Whitesman added.

“These parties are licensed under provincial gambling legislation by the provincial gambling boards, but the oversight and licensing of such activities is sought under the bill to be transferred to the National Lotteries Commission.

“There are many unknowns in this regard. My view is that if the Bill becomes law in its current form, the operators affected thereby will take the matter to court.”

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