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Online Casino News - March, 2008

Legalized Online Gambling One Step Away in South Africa



 Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

March 17, 2008

There has been talk for some time about legalizing and regulating online gambling in South Africa. It now appears all this talk is gearing to come fruition with South African media sources reporting that legislation is currently making the rounds in Parliament. Although no laws have been passed as of yet, the general sentiment regarding the research that has hitherto been done on the subject of online gambling, does indeed warrant the need for regulation.

The Business Times reported while online gambling is currently deemed illegal in South Africa, a bill is certainly in the works, and will be introduced to the National Assembly for approval shortly. Currently, the bill is under review with the Select Committee of National Provinces, who will then pass it on the National Assembly.

Chief Operations Officer of the National Gambling Board, Themba Marasha, has been actively promoting the need for regulation, and has been in the thick of devising the bill's provisions, which from the look of things, imposes a strict set of requirements for online casino operators to obtain a valid license. While the Gambling Act of 2004 already lays out punishments of up to R10 million in fines and 10 years imprisonment for online gambling crimes, the current bill will serve more to protect South African citizens who choose to gamble at online casinos.

Without a fair and protect gambling environment, citizens are currently putting themselves at great risk. With proper legislation in place, like that in the
UK online casinos scene, gamblers will have confidence knowing they are getting the fairest odds and will indeed get paid out their winnings. These days, it certainly isn't uncommon for players to have their accounts frozen and winnings withheld for bogus reasons.

Some online casinos, however, have been doing fair business in the South African online gambling scene for some time, despite the current state of affairs and lack of regulation. Casino Enterprises, who operates the well known and respected Piggs Peak Online Casino (based in Swaziland), has been up and running since 1997.

However, the Gambling Board is currently in court with Casino Enterprises over where online gambling activities originate and take place at Piggs Peak Casino, who heavily advertises in South Africa. Hopefully for Casino Enterprises, legislation will soon be passed and all they would need to do at that time is apply for a license and pay the necessary fees, considering all requirements have been met.



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