Regulated Online Gambling Close in South Africa
May 12, 2014 - If you've been following the saga that is online gambling in South Africa, you'll no doubt be aware that the closest legislation to legalise and regulate the convenient and popular online activity came to be signed into law, was back in the days of then SA President, Thabo Mbeki (remember him?).
According to reports, the South African online gambling legislation was neatly placed on Pres Mbeki's desk awaiting his signature. However, instead of collecting his John Hancock, all the pro-South African online gambling legislation ended up collecting was dust, and is now - for all this writer knows - being used as kindling to light the fires that warm Parliament.
Regulations for SA Online Gaming?
Skip a few years to now, May 2014, where the ANC has just been re-elected for another term, Jack Frost is tightening his grip on the nation every day and online gambling in South Africa may well be poised for a massive shot in the arm. The reason being reports that after years of internet gaming foot dragging, the Government now seems eager to legalise and tax this popular and lucrative internet activity.
Enter recently drafted online gambling legislation that is currently open to public comments and consultations until May 25. Presumably, this period will afford South Africans the opportunity to voice their opinions regarding a regulated and legalised online gaming infrastructure in South Africa, based on which the Government will make its final decision.
Gaming Firms Must Be Licensed to Operate
As part of the legislation, online gambling operators will be required to have some of their remote gambling equipment (servers) in the province in which they have applied for a South African gaming license from the National Gambling Board. These licenses will allow operators to offer all manner of online casino, bingo and poker games, as well as sports betting services, should they so choose.
In addition, the legislation has specified that no licensee may offer players 'credit' of any kind, but must receive real money funds (via one of the many government-sanctioned deposit methods) before allowing South Africans to gamble online. Also, operators must ensure that players confirm their status as South African citizens before being allowed to play online, and that they are 18 or older (the legal gambling age in South Africa).
Taxes to Split Amongst Province and Government
In terms of taxes generated from online gambling in South Africa, according to the legislation 70% of revenues will go to the province in which the respective online gambling operator is based, while the remaining 30% will go to the national government.
The big question is whether this legislation will be accepted and signed into law, or if it too will be relegated to the kindling pile. If you're a supporter of regulated online gambling in South Africa, be sure to watch this space.
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Legislation Gives SA Online Gamblers Hope