South Africa’s new remote gambling bill

Currently, gamblers can pretty much go ham online, betting away until the sun shines. However, the possibility of the Remote Gambling Bill being signed into law, which includes various measures that would apply to operators, players, and ads, could make online betting a little less easy-peasy and willy-nilly.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is introducing the new Remote Gambling Bill (B-11-2024), aiming to set out the first regulations for remote gambling in the country.

While the bill, under the National Gambling Amendment Act, has been on the table since 2008, there hasn’t been much momentum in getting it signed into law.

The fresh bill introduces a revamped licensing setup, suggested rules for operators, and safety measures to curb gambling risks. After two years of crafting, the Democratic Alliance hopes that this will “promote the development of a responsible remote gambling industry in the Republic”, per ReadWrite.

“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 as they are when using land-based gaming operations,”

“At the same time, a lack of regulation is resulting in revenue worth billions of rand and jobs being lost to other gambling jurisdictions.”

– the Democratic Alliance said, as reported by iGaming Business.

“The ANC government has shown, over these 16 years, that it has no intention of protecting players and the industry from criminal elements. We have therefore taken it upon ourself to ensure adequate protection by means of introducing this private member’s bill.”

According to the proposed bill, there would be three types of licenses up for grabs: one for remote gambling operators, another for manufacturers and suppliers, and a third for employment. The National Gambling Board would hold the ultimate authority over these licenses, with provincial licensing bodies assisting in tackling any illicit activities.

There’s still no information available regarding the potential cost of these licenses. Operators risk having their licenses suspended or revoked if they breach the conditions.

The regulations for users further stipulate that remote gambling be accessible only to individuals aged 18 and above in South Africa. Players will be prohibited from obtaining credit from operators and should have the option to opt-out using self-exclusion programmes. Additionally, operators are implementing deposit limits to enhance available responsible gambling measures.

The bill will also affect gambling adverts, ensuring they are not misleading and include messaging around responsible gambling.


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