South Africa’s National Gambling Amendment Bill, which has undergone multiple changes since it was first proposed in 2016, was officially tabled by Rob Davies, Minister of Trade Industry, on July 20, 2018.
The bill proposes amendments to the current gambling legislation in South Africa, such as reinforcements to the currently established regulations, as well as several edits to the gambling structures.
The Department of Trade and Industry has made the full draft bill publicly available, and details changes like reforming the National Gambling Board into the National Gambling Regulator, which will take on a number of new responsibilities, as well as letting go of some old ones.
These old responsibilities include the regulation and management of thenational lottery, foreign lottery, sports pools, and lottery results. These items will be under the jurisdiction of a separate National Lotteries Commission, to be formed once the bill is passed into law.
Impact Of New Gambling Laws
Current gambling regulations on casinos, bingo, and limited pay-out machines will be made a lot more stringent. This includes limiting the maximum number of bingo and machine licenses that will be granted in the country, including electronic bingo.
The layout of dedicated gambling buildings will also be restricted; no longer will “hidden” entrances to gambling areas in public places such as shopping malls be allowed. This also applies to the location of Automated Teller Machines.
Dog racing which is popular with a niche market in South Africa will find themselves left short changed as the new bill has banned dog racing. The horse racing industry will have its own self-regulating body which will be recognized by the government.
Additionally, a broad-based black economic empowerment provision was included for the black constituents of the gambling industry. This will most especially apply to new applicants for gambling licenses – black applicants will be given special attention as a form of affirmative action.
Some of the other changes include the more stringent restrictions on gambling advertisements, and the forfeiture of illicit winnings to the newly formed National Gambling Regulator. The online gambling industry is also expected to be impacted by these new gaming amendments and a full list of their impact will be released shortly.