Online Gambling in South Africa Under Debate

Written by Sadonna | Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Since 2009 South Africa has been trying to legalize and license online gambling so their citizens can enjoy placing wagers online. Now it is 2011 and South Africa isn’t any closer to offering online gambling. According to IT Web, a South African news site, online gambling is at least two years from becoming a reality.

IT Web stated in a recent article: “SA’s government is losing out on millions in tax revenue as the country has yet to decide whether the online gambling sector should be legalized.”

Back in 2009 the country had planned on issuing ten licenses and legalizing online gambling but that plan was stalled due to the legal system in South Africa. The plan has continued to be stalled as the Gambling Review Commission, which was recently created, has started to study the gambling industry in the country.

South African based lawyer Alicia Gibson specializes in gambling law and she was quoted in the IT Web article as stating that South Africa is losing out a several potential benefits that the ‘interactive gambling industry’ can bring. Gibson listed such examples as jobs, taxes and empowerment opportunities. Gibson also commented that the longer the country takes to offer online gambling the more the cost will be to the economy.

Gibson commented that she believes as the National Gambling Board reviews their findings and new regulations are drafted the process is going to be long. Adding in the creation of RFPs for the licenses the process will probably take about two years if all goes well.

The director of media and public relations at the Department of Trade and Industry for South Africa Sidwell Medupe stated that the commission has finished their review and that a report of their findings has been sent to the minister. Now the provincial ministers will review the report and then release information. Medupe has not stated a time and date that the ministers will be reviewing the report or when a decision will be made.

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