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South Africa Opposition Party Introduces New Remote Gambling Bill

South Africa Opposition Party Introduces New Remote Gambling BillSouth Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has introduced Remote Gambling Bill (B11-2024) to the National Assembly. Sponsored by Dean Macpherson, Member of Parliament for the Official Opposition, the prospective law aims to regulate and license online gambling in the country after 16 years of delay. A similar piece of legislation, the National Gambling Amendment Act, was brought to the table back in 2008 but was never signed into law by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The new bill further seeks to standardize rules and regulations concerning remote gambling across the country. It also establishes protections for vulnerable groups of society, including minors and problem gamblers, preventing their exposure to the negative effects of gambling. As the DA stated, the bill took two years of drafting and consultations with industry experts.

Protections are extended to players and gambling operators. While the first will be able to set individual limits on the amount of money spent on gambling, the latter will operate in accordance with the best practices protecting from fraud, money laundering, or financing of terrorist activities.

The Remote Gambling Bill strives to ensure compliance with the country’s Financial Intelligence Centre Act and establish procedures for license applications, objections, and regulations of gambling advertising.

If the bill becomes a law, the online gambling market in South Africa will have its own “Dispute Resolution” body in charge of settling disagreements between players and gambling operators.

The Bill Comes at a Crucial Point for South Africa’s Political Landscape

The Bill Comes at a Crucial Point for South Africa’s Political LandscapeIn a statement, the DA has put the blame on the ruling party for failing to bring the former gambling bill into operation, thus creating a “legal gap” in the industry. The DA further pointed to the consequences ensuing from the ruling party’s idleness. The insufficient regulations of online gambling have caused a rise in crime, missed financial opportunities, and a lack of efficient protection mechanisms, among others.

Instead of regulating the industry through the National Gambling Board, the bill seeks to do so through provincial authorities. As the DA stated, the board proved ineffective in regulating the online gambling industry. The respective provincial authorities will be granted with the right to issue licenses and monitor compliance with the new law.

The gambling bill came at a crucial point for South Africa’s political landscape, with expectations for the ruling party to lose its majority in the forthcoming General Election set for May 29: “With the upcoming 29 May national and provincial elections, the ANC looks set to drop far below the 50% majority mark, which means that in the new Parliament, it will no longer have its majority to reject legislation on frivolous grounds only out of spite because it came from an opposition party.”

The DA’s statement concluded by highlighting that the new gambling legislation will be “the first of many bills introduced to rescue South Africa.”

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.