Bill to legalise online gambling in SA

The draft Remote Gambling Bill of 2014 was published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday, by DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

News of the bill first emerged towards the start of the year, with Hill-Lewis saying in an e-mail interview that there is still a long road before online gambling is legalised in South Africa.

After being published and tabled in parliament, the bill must is now open for public comment, the deadline for which is Friday, 23 May 2014.

The bill will then be debated in the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, which will take a decision on it before Parliament is finally required to vote on it.

It will take 9 months for this process to run its course, Hill-Lewis estimated; however, a number of things could influence the amount of time it takes to process the bill, so it may take longer.

“It is important to note that Parliament and Portfolio Committee take the final decision on whether the Bill is passed into law or not,” Hill-Lewis said. “So it is, at this stage, far from certain that the Bill will definitely become law.”

The preamble of the bill states the following goals of the new law:

  • To provide for the regulation of remote gambling in the Republic of South Africa;
  • To provide for uniform norms and standards in respect of remote gambling to be applicable throughout the Republic;
  • To prevent minors and vulnerable persons from being exposed to the negative effects of gambling; to ensure compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act;
  • To protect the public and licensed remote gambling operators from fraud and criminal behaviour, money laundering or financing of terrorist and related activities; and
  • To provide for matters connected therewith.

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Bill to legalise online gambling in SA