Online gambling rejected in South Africa

Online gambling rejected in South Africa

Friday, May 27, 2016 Totally Gaming
National Assembly members turned down the latest bill from Geordin Hill-Lewis

Plans to legalise online gambling in South Africa have again been rejected by MPs in the country’s Parliament.

The Remote Gambling Bill, the latest attempt by opposition Democratic Alliance MP Geordin Hill-Lewis to regulate the sector, would have created a framework offering a limitless number of licences. Hill-Lewis said the regulation of online gambling was “inevitable”, as gamblers would simply use illegal services. The proposed bill also contained ways of protecting the vulnerable and securing revenue currently lost to the illegal gambling market.

“Regulation of the industry is the best way to protect the public,” he argued.

According to the News24 website, the lone voice of support came from the IFP MP Jan Esterhuizen, who said there were at least 2,000 illegal gambling operators and it made sense to legalise them.

The National Assembly was deliberating whether to accept a Trade and Industry Committee report rejecting the proposal, and ultimately chose to back up that decision.

National Freedom Party MP Shaik Emam said gambling caused misery for the poorest of the poor. 

“People's careers are destroyed as they resort to white collar crime to cover their losses. Children go to bed hungry,” he shouted, to applause from the ANC, which also rejected the bill.

TotallyGaming.com says: “While Hill-Lewis’ argument that it is better to regulate online gambling than allow an illegal market to thrive, this legislation was flawed. The Committee had already discovered that there was little research to back up the bill, but it is not enough to simply hope online gambling will go away.”

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