Posts Tagged ‘illegal online gambling’

South Africa Bans Online Gambling With High Court Ruling

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

South Africa, you disappoint me. Beautiful plains of South Africa, oh how you disappoint me! Home of the World Cup, stage to end apartheid, oh how deeply you disappoint me!

In case you haven’t heard already, South Africa (which apparently looked as if it would become a promising jurisdiction to regulate online gambling) has done a complete turnaround, swinging 180 degrees in its 2007 policy toward internet betting by making it an illegal activity!

As per a high court judgment given by Judge NB Tuchten on Friday, August 20th, the law basically states that anybody who takes part in online gambling activities of any kind is guilty of breaking the law and will be prosecuted.

Not only does this apply to online casino operators and payment processors, the ruling specifically holds internet service providers and the bettors themselves responsible. And to make matters worse, the Gauteng Gambling Board (land-based casino interests…who else, right?) is shouting from the rooftops that it will legally pursue any individuals or companies attempting to bypass the law.

Granted, I don’t expect there to be any prosecutions against your average online bettors (at least, for the time being). High rollers may be another matter. However, just as it is in the United States, enforcement will likely only have enough resources to go after the operators themselves, i.e., offshore online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks and anybody else knowingly taking bets from South African citizens.

While I am very disappointed to hear this news (as is the online gambling community at large and no doubt  many South Africans), it seems as if this story is far from over. If one Judge’s ruling can effectively make a popular activity illegal, there need only to be another ruling to overturn the former. Just like gay marriage was made legal, illegal and legal again in the State of California, online gambling regulation will eventually happen in the United States, and for that matter, South Africa once more.