The draft Remote Gambling Bill has been published for public comment in South Africa, aiming to legalise and regulate online gambling in the country.

The private members’ bill has been put forward by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), which wants to establish a legal basis for the regulation, control and licensing of all remote gambling activities in South Africa.

Regulations for interactive gambling were initially supposed to be provided by the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008; however, the DA said that the amendment act has not yet been brought into operation and interactive/online gambling is currently not regulated in South Africa.

“By not regulating this gambling activity, the erosion of the rule of law and criminal activity is being encouraged, while the public is not effectively protected,” the party said.

“Concurrently, a lack of regulation is resulting in revenue and jobs being lost to other gambling jurisdictions.”

The purpose of the Remote Gambling Bill is thus to fill the gap in the law relating to interactive gambling. The Bill addresses the issues faced by the Amendment Act, which is one of the reasons why it was never brought into effect.

The Remote Gambling Bill also aims to provide for, inter alia, the following:

  • Regulating the issuing of licenses to be controlled by the relevant provincial authorities;
  • Provide for procedures relating to objections to issuing of licenses;
  • Regulating advertising of interactive/ online gambling entities;
  • Provide for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons; and
  • Ensure that there is compliance with FICA.

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