South Africa Adopts National Gambling Amendment Bill

    South Africa has a long history of gambling, though it has not always been legalised. Fortunately, gambling has gained government recognition and even appreciation in recent years, and there has been a great effort to establish proper rules and regulations. The latest of such endeavours is the introduction of the National Gambling Amendment Bill, which is excellent news for all casinos and games of chance out there.

    According to PlayCasino’s article, the country’s gambling industry is on the rise. The facts and figures presented by the CASA (Casino Association of South Africa) show that revenues have risen by 3.5% in the previous year. Thus, CASA members have given an astounding sum of R6.1 million to South Africa’s taxes. With such huge amounts of money at stake, it is no wonder the country has decided to adopt new laws in favour of gambling.

    So, what exactly is going on?

    The parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry officially accepted the National Gambling Amendment Act 2018. As they have admitted, there is still a lot of work to be done in the sphere of gambling and online games, but at least the following three issues are supposed to be covered by it in the meantime.

    • The national gambling industry is now the responsibility of the National Gambling Regulator (the name is susceptible to changes since the law has just been passed). Therefore, the National Gaming Board will no longer be held responsible for it.
    • In addition, the function of the National Central Economic Monitoring System is going to be enhanced in a way that they are going to monitor all types of gambling activities. Consequently, this is expected to be helpful when it comes to gathering market data, so as to eventually decide on the appropriate taxation levels.
    • Essentially, the new National Gambling Amendment Bill is to provide better management and function of the National Policy Gambling Council.

    However, there are plenty of issues waiting to be resolved in the years to come.

    As it was stated, there is too little time for all the options to be discussed and taken care of accordingly. Time is a valuable asset, and it is needed for proper investigating and finding the right solutions. Some of the issues waiting for the new laws and bills are dog racing, electronic bingo terminals, bets on lottery results, and so on. The dilemma about banning dog racing is still ongoing. As well as that, there is a question whether a self-regulatory body for horse racing should be established, too. As for online sports and race betting, they have all the necessary permissions for now.

    One of the greatest obstacles in harvesting tax money from gambling revenues is the existence of unauthorized sites. The government is looking into new measures to tackle the problem. In the meantime, South African citizens should be well aware that they should only put their trust in reputable websites. Otherwise, they may end up losing their winnings if the government decides to confiscate those at some point in the future, which they would have the right to do if the money is considered to have been obtained illegally.

    There are instances of local politicians trying to allow an even greater number of online casinos to come into existence. However, their efforts seem to be undermined by “real”, offline casinos, since they see online counterparts as fierce competition. This fact speaks volumes about the benefits of online casinos for the players, otherwise, there wouldn’t be such heavy lobbying present.

    In a nutshell, online casinos owe their popularity to their conveniences. You can play from wherever you are, as long as you have a good internet connection. Secondly, they offer you a chance to try your luck for free and learn by doing, which is impossible in regular casinos. In addition, online casinos pride themselves with a myriad of different games. These are more than enough for their competition to cause delays in official regulations and acceptance.

    To summarize, the future looks bright for the South African gambling industry. The revenues are increasing, and the latest National Gambling Amendment Bill is just one of many careful steps to be taken in order for the industry to continue thriving.

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