South Africa considers Online Gaming legislation

South Africa considers Online Gaming legislation

Despite research studies and political debate supporting online gaming in South Africa, the country is yet to introduce legislation. The issue has resurfaced as an opposition Member of Parliament drafted a bill to legalise online casino gaming.

The new bill proposed by MP Geordin Hill-Lewis would repeal the existing National Gambling Act of 2008 that allows restricted online sports betting. It would include casino games and set out licensing requirements for service companies as well as operators. Licenses would be issued at provincial level and holder of sports betting licenses, such as Krugerbets and Sportingbet, would be required to reapply, creating a ripe new market.

“With this regulation,” commented Tyrone Dubbin, Sportingbet SA Managing Director, “we can look to satisfy consumer demand and offer our customers a full suite of gambling products in a safe and secure online environment that abides to local regulatory controls and consumer protections.”

South African lawmakers have been under pressure recently to create a safe and secure online gambling environment, instead of exposing consumers to the rising number of offshore sites that openly target South Africa.

The proposal recommends that taxation be at the discretion of the 10 individual provinces, with a national body to bring harmonisation of standards and ensure all provinces are on equal footing. Application and registration fees are yet to be finalised.

Online gaming proponents fear that South Africa has missed investment opportunity by falling behind established markets in Europe and more recently in US states, where operators are looking to enter. “This is eight years overdue now,” expressed Wyne Lurie, director of a South African law firm that specialises in gambling, “and we’ve fallen behind international standards.”

Following its introduction to Parliament in the coming months, the legislation will be debated and if it becomes law, it could take up to six months to establish regulatory standards. It is estimated that licenses may not be issued for a total of 18 months if applicants wait during the initial six-month period.

More Information
South Africa Gambling Board – Website: