Draft Remote Gambling Bill Published in South Africa
A draft Remote Gambling Bill has been published in South Africa by DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, Geordin Hill-Lewis. According to the minister this is the first step in a long process for the
legalization of gambling in South Africa.
Now that the draft bill – the Remote Gambling Bill of 2014 – has been published, it is open for public comment for a month, ending May 23, 2014. The next step will be a debate of the bill in the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry. The committee will make a decision regarding the bill and only then will parliament vote.
“It is important to note that Parliament and Portfolio Committee take the final decision on whether the bill is passed into law or not,” stated Hill-Lewis. “So it is, at this stage, far from certain that the Bill will definitely become law.”
It is expected that the process will take nine months. Published on April 23, 2014, it is not expected that the process will be completed before the beginning of next year. The aim of the remote gambling law is to provide uniform standards for South African remote gambling.
According to the draft Bill, the legislation will require Internet gaming providers to receive a remote gambling license in order to operate online. These licenses would be issued by the National Gambling Board. The applications would need to be made to the provincial licensing authority and operators would be required to maintain some of their remote gambling equipment in the province where they made the application.
The taxes collected on gambling revenue will be distributed with 30 percent going to the national revenue fund and 70 percent to the provincial revenue fund with each province responsible for imposing a tax rate on operators.
South African players will be able to legally play at licensed remote gambling sites and players residing outside South Africa will also be able to play as long as they have registered as a player on the site.
Remote gambling would include virtual gambling games, person-to-person gambling, equal chance gambling and casino games, bingo and sports betting.
Remote gambling will need to comply with the Financial Intelligence Center Act and it would put measures in place to protect minors from the negative effects of gambling. In addition, it would put into place strict processes to prevent fraud, criminal behavior, money laundering and other criminal financial behavior.