Interactive-gambling law on the cards

Legislation paving the way for regulating interactive gambling, such as on the internet, has been tabled in the National Assembly.

According to a memorandum attached to the draft National Gambling Amendment Bill, the interactive gaming industry in South Africa is unregulated.

It is generally plagued by crime, criminal elements, little or no protection for players, uncontrolled exposure of children and others vulnerable people to gambling and a host of other negative factors.

“This situation has resulted in a considerable loss of revenue to the national fiscus and compromises the country’s reputation as a responsible global citizen and the reputation of the gambling industry in general,” the memorandum says.

Interactive gambling is generally accepted to mean all forms of “remote gambling” via the internet or other related forms of telecommunication.

However, the Bill excludes interactive gambling activities between two or more people facilitated by a third party, as the implications of this form of interactive gambling are still being investigated.

The Bill thus seeks to address the socio-economic implications of an unregulated, interactive gambling industry by establishing an effective and efficient regulatory framework, based on sound policy objectives in line with the government’s broad policy framework for regulating all gambling, the memorandum says.

It provides, among other things, for approval of interactive games, equipment and software, registration of players, dispute resolution and “fair” treatment of players.

Other provisions protect minors and vulnerable people from harm and exploitation.

The Bill further deals with advertising, licensing, compliance and enforcement, problem gambling and money laundering.—Sapa

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