Parliament Rejects Online Gambling Regulation Bill


The National Assembly has rejected a legislative attempt by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to regulate online gambling. The opposition party’s  proposed law was rejected during Parliamentary sitting on Thursday.

“Regulation of the industry is the best way to protect the public,” DA MP Geordin Hill-Lewis said. But other Parliamentarians disagreed with Lewis.

Arguing on why the proposed law should be discarded, an honourable member described the “remote gambling bill” as an attempt to take food away from families.

Another MP added that such move will largely increase white-collar crime.

But Lewis maintained that the House was making a mistake and would find in time that regulating online gambling was inevitable.

Read Also: SABC Choir Gulped R7.5 Million To Sing ‘Hlaudi Motsoeneng We Thank You’

He pointed out that the National Gambling Act amendments enacted in 2008 were never acted on thereby, thickening the confusion regarding the rules around online gambling.

The National Gambling Amendment Act published in July 2008 was meant to be an attempt to legalize interactive gambling in the country and make provisions for the regulation of this market. But, the Amendment Act was actively confronted by the interested parties (land-based gambling houses and anti-money laundering authorities). For this reason, the Act hasn’t come into power yet.

 However, as the DA MP argued on, an IFP MP Jan Esterhuizen, rose to support him, asserting that there were at least 2 000 illegal gambling operators and legalizing them would go a long way in helping matters.

“Once regulated it can be better controlled and restricted with appropriate safety measures,” Esterhuizen said.

The African National Congress (ANC) also rejected the bill, together with the National Freedom Party MP Shaik Emam.

NFP’s Emam took the opportunity to slam the DA for abandoning the poor and maintained that the bill must be trashed.

“People’s careers are destroyed as they resort to white collar crime to cover their losses. Children go to bed hungry,” he shouted.

See Also: Destroying Colonial-Era Statues Won’t Change A Thing – Mbeki

Casinos operate in all metropolitan areas in South Africa with the largest being the Tusk Rio Casino Resort. Tsogo Sun Montecasino, located in Johannesburg, is another of South Africa’s largest Casinos.

Notably, On August 20 2010 online gambling offered through servers located outside the country was banned in South Africa.

This was the result of the North Gauteng High Court judgement on the jurisdiction of online gambling transactions in the country.