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on the radar of the Government
The Times recently reported that the companies
will be allowed to apply for online gambling licences when
the National Gambling Amendment Act is promulgated. This
means that Online Gambling in South Africa
will soon be a regulated industry and taxable.
The regulatory framework
is intended to attract "reputable" operators and
at the same time offering "legitimate" channels
of gambling to South African punters, it was said. It is
not known whether the proposed legislation will limit the
number of gambling licences that will be
issued however, it is anticipated that applications for
such licences may be possible as soon as next year. Before
this can happen a tax bill has to be enacted by the Minister
of Trade and Industry. Meanwhile the process regulations
and industry standards are being finalised.
Several warnings have been
made to remind online gaming companies that they are operating
illegally even though online gamblers are accessing gaming
abroad. In terms of the current National Gambling Act, the
provision of South African Online Gambling sites and the
engagement in gambling online using such
sites is unlawful.
The proposed Amendment Act
will also make advertising of international online gaming
sites in South Africa extremely difficult.The purpose for
regulating the South African Online Gambling
industry is said to be for the protection of the punters.
Currently the online gambling industry
leaves the punter with no recourse in the event of a dispute
furthermore, the fairness and honesty of the environment
is questionable. We will have to wait and see if the South
African Online Gambling companies currently in existence
will qualify for online gambling licences
when the application process eventually opens!
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