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South Africa to Fight Online Gambling Even More Rigorously

- July 22, 2015 By Oliver Young -

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South Africa seems unwilling to legalise online gambling, but it certainly plans to fight illegal gambling operations.

Online Gambling in South Africa has been a hot topic for years now. Legalisation of online gambling has been on the table for more than a decade and politicians continuously argue whether this form of gambling should be regulated in the country or not. Nevertheless, these talks always were fruitless and authorities always somehow avoided the decision of legalising online gambling in South Africa.

The latest development when it comes to iGaming in the country reveals that the National Gambling Board is making some steps towards fighting unregulated online gaming sites that target players from South Africa. Meanwhile, politicians are still debating the latest remote gambling legalisation bill that was filled by the Democratic Alliance.

Estelle Jonkheid, the manager of the NGB, said that the Board plans to form a multi-disciplinary task force. She revealed this information while speaking at a seminar whose main topic was internet gambling. According to her speech, this task force will be consisted of law enforcement agencies, existing licence holders as well as gambling regulators.

The Task Force Will Tackle Illegal Online Gambling on South African Territory

Ms Jonkheid not only announced that illegal gambling will be taken more seriously from now on, but she pointed out that there are approximately 2,000 operators that were illegally operating in the country.
Therefore, South Africa will introduce its multi-disciplinary task force as a weapon for fighting these illegal operators. She added that the initiative would consider strategies, interventions and action against all online gaming operators that don’t hold an appropriate licence.

This information was welcomed by opponents of online gambling. One of them was Themba Ngobese who is the CEO of the Casino Association of South Africa. Ngobese is constantly fighting attempts to legalise online gambling in South Africa by claiming it may hurt the land based gaming industry.

Regulation May Be a Better Way of Dealing with Illegal Online Gambling Operations

Even though there are obviously too many illegal online gambling operations in South Africa and there is urgent needs to deal with them, experts believe that regulation may be a better way of dealing with this issue than forming task forces.

For example, Louise Fubbs, the chair of the Trade and Industry Committee, expressed opinion that regulation of online gambling would also mean more safety for players as well as better control from authorities. In addition, legalisation of online gambling, according to Fubbs, will earn revenues for the government that could be used for funding problem gambling solutions as well as for fighting illegal gambling.

Fubbs might be just right about this claim since disciplinary policy rarely proves efficient. Over the years, for example, the National Gambling Board of South Africa has won only one important court case against illegal gambling operator – Piggs Peak Casino. However, this happened back in 2011 and since then there haven’t been any major wins for the country in its war against unregulated gambling sites that target South Africans.

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