Will US Sports Betting Decision Affect South African Gambling?
This week, the US Supreme Court made a dramatic and far-reaching decision. It ruled to overturn a 25 year ban on sports betting, which will make it legal to bet on sports across the country (if a state wishes to take this option). Many analysts have predicted that the decision will affect gambling all over the world for the better. Already, we are seeing international companies elbowing their way in to a potential goldmine in the US gambling market, and the shares of many operators shot up when the news of the higher court’s decision was made public.
Will the decision, however, affect the South African gambling and sports betting landscape?
Unlike many states in the US, sports betting is legal in South Africa. Overseen and regulated by the National Gambling Board, the legislation permits sports betting as per the National Gambling Act of 2004. Land-based and online sports betting through legal and licensed bookmakers is considered legal in the country, while many off-shore operators also offer their services to South African punters. As such, it can be said that in many ways, South Africa’s sports betting scene is even more advanced than most US states.
The ruling by the US Supreme Court will definitely make sports betting more mainstream across the country, which will spill over to a more general acceptance of this form of entertainment around the world. In this sense, the sentiments could definitely affect South Africa and make the pastime more accepting, even to those who haven’t wagered on sports events before.
Local US governments are already counting the tax revenues they expect to see from legalizing their sports betting platforms and possibly expanding their entire gambling landscapes, including online and mobile gambling. This will serve as an incentive to countries where online gambling is still considered a grey area in terms of legislation (read: South Africa). The South African government may come to the conclusion that a licensed and regulated online gambling industry could bring in millions of Rands in revenue to the country, based on examples seen in the United States.
These are very interesting times in the global gambling scene.