South Africa’s parliament has approved a bill regulating the African nation’s booming remote and Internet gambling industry.
The regulations are a far cry from recent and legislative measures which are designed to control the economic circumstances surrounding remote and Internet gambling.
The South African regulations passed through its parliament on Monday May 19, and they come as necessary counter balances to an industry riddled with corruption, cheating and money laundering widely thought to be connected to terrorist funding.
Attached to the National Gambling Amendment Bill was a government penned memorandum describing the intended effects of the legislation:
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all gambling activities are conducted responsibly, fairly and honestly (and to) protect minors and other vulnerable persons from the negative effects of gambling.
While the bill is not yet signed by President Thabo Mbeki, if signed and put into effect it will require a number of drastic changes from the South African gaming community. Notable changes include: mandatory registration from every online player with a licensed interactive gambling provider which would require a credible affidavit ensuring that any prospective player meet the National minimum age requirement of 18 years as well as the institution of an electronic monitoring system designed to search out addictive behavior and automatically limit credit access for players who exhibit such behaviors.
At the root of these new regulations is a commitment from South Africa to cut down on what it calls “a considerable loss of revenue to the national fiscus and compromises (to) the country's reputation as a responsible global citizen.” According to South Africa’s National Gambling Board, non-Internet gambling revenues have more than doubled over the past 5 years from 6.2 billion rand (approximately $807 million USD) to 13.5 billion rand )approximately $1.8 billion USD.) However, due to the country’s previous problems with regulating Internet gambling, South Africa was unable to identify – and much less collect – the vast majority of such revenues.
If the National Gambling Amendment Bill is signed into effect, its fiscal benefits could rack up billions in rand for the African nation.