South Africa approves online gambling

After being approved by Parliament in May, President Thabo Mbeki has signed South African National Gambling Amendment Bill into law but, frustratingly, the legislation will not be implemented ‘until a date chosen by the President’.

With the President’s signature, South Africa has become the latest nation to legalize online gambling but it could still be some time before operations begin as officials work out on how to implement all of the new legislation in the Bill.

The legislation was drafted in response to a report conducted by South Africa’s National Gambling Board and amends the 2004 National Gambling Act to legalize online gambling along with establishing a licensing and regulatory system. The Bill establishes a system to monitor gaming websites in order to prevent money laundering along with initiating programs to stop addictive gambling issues before they begin.

Under its proposals, all online players need to be registered with a licensed interactive gambling provider and submit an affidavit ensuring that they are older than 18. The Bill also allows for the establishment of an electronic monitoring system to help root out potentially addictive behaviour and restrict credit extensions to players.

According to South Africa’s National Gambling Board, which will enforce the new measures, revenues from all forms of non-Internet gambling in the nation increased to USD 1.8 billion last year, up from USD 811 million in 2001/2002.