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South African party introduces long-awaited online gambling bill

| By Daniel O'Boyle
South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has introduced a law to regulate online gambling in the country, ending a long period of ambiguity after efforts to regulate the vertical collapsed 14 years ago.
South Africa casinos

Currently, South African law allows online gambling to be offered by any operator with a licence issued by a provincial authority. However, the country does not have a full legislative framework, as the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 – intended to properly regulate the vertical – never came into force.

Now, though, the Democratic Alliance is set to introduce a bill with many of the same goals as that 2008 act in the National Assembly of Parliament.

“As such, interactive/online gambling is currently not regulated in South Africa,” the Democratic Alliance noted. “By not regulating this gambling activity, the erosion of the rule of law and criminal activity is being encouraged, while the public is not effectively protected.”

Five points

The 2022 legislation itself has not yet been published. However, the party revealed that it will cover five areas. 

First, it will regulating the issuing of licences, which will continue to be handed out by provincial authorities. The bill will also “provide for procedures relating to objections from issuing of licences”.

Next, the bill will regulate gambling ads, possibly introducing restrictions in this area. It also promises to “provide for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons”. Finally, it will ensure that operators are compliant with the South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA).

After the bill is introduced, stakeholders may submit their views on it to the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Earlier today, sportsbook supplier Amelco announced its entry into the South African market, through a partnership with LulaBet, which is also a new entrant into the market.

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