South Africa Considering A Ban On Internet Gambling

South Africa Considering A Ban On Internet Gambling A recent study revealed South Africa has one of the highest percentages of problem gamblers in the world, and in response to its dramatic findings the government is now proposing a ban on a wide range of gambling activities inside the country, including internet gaming. The proposal is currently being discussed by the National Gambling Policy Council (NGPC) and the Department of Trade and Industry, and once the debate is concluded, the public will be invited to comment on the issue and offer alternative suggestions.
In 2008, South Africa forbade companies from offering internet casino gambling in the country, but by 2011 the South African government appeared to be softening its stance on the subject after the Gambling Review Commission adopted a number of legal measures designed to prepare South Africa for a possible transition to regulated online gambling. Needless to say, this confusing situation has made the country into yet another grey market jurisdictions in which players accessing such sites face no penalties, while the government receives no tax revenues from the grey industry.
With this backdrop in mind, the opposition Democratic Alliance had been trying to reverse the old laws, but now the Department of Trade and Industry seems more determined than ever to impose a blanket ban on internet gaming altogether. Commenting on the latest debate, Democratic Alliance spokesman Geordin Hill-Lewis, said:
“That is a very, very bad decision. I fiercely disagree with that view. It is completely shortsighted to say that it is better for South Africans not to be allowed to gamble online when there is patently significant demand in the country to do that. It is for government to facilitate that in the safest way possible.”
In addition, Geordin Hill-Lewis was keen to point out the high monetary cost required to monitor and police a total ban on internet gambling, whilst also highlighting the gap which exist between the national and provincial governments on the topic. Therefore, many hurdles will still have to be overcome before the  South African government is able put a hold on the country’s online gambling market.

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