South Africa Bans Online PokerAugust 25, 2010 7:18 am
Following the August 20th ruling at the North Gauteng High Court, online poker and all forms of online gambling are now strictly prohibited in South Africa.
The Gauteng Gambling Board (GGB) had been fighting for a ban on online casinos for a while, and has sought to protect the country’s R16 billion (US$2.2 billion) gaming industry from increasing competition from online companies.
The GGB has now finally won its case after the judgement handed down by Judge NB Tuchten, the result of which would see anyone caught breaking the new anti-online gambling law facing up to a R10 million (US$1.36 million) or ten years in jail.
As well as any player taking part in any online gambling activity, other people included in the list of those who would be held responsible in case of the law being broken are Internet service providers and financial institutions who process the betting transactions. Also any form of online gambling advertisements has also been made illegal.
Commenting on the landmark ruling, Lucky Lukhwareni of the Gauteng Gambling Board said:
“That’s why we approached the media to alert them of the judgement which makes online casino operations illegal, and if they continue we will have them arrested and fight for conviction.”
If any further deterrent was needed, any company that breaches the ruling will be disqualified for applying for an online gambling licences in the event the government in the future decides to grant a limited amount of licences.
Piggs Peak, which runs a land based casino in Swaziland, as well as a thriving online casino operation, say they are determined to fight the ban. Commenting on the matter, Operations Director Lew Saul Koor said:
“On consultation with our Senior Legal Council they agree that we should appeal this finding which we believe is totally incorrect.”
“Until the appeal has been heard and the outcome determined, our business will continue as usual as agreed with the Gambling Boards.”